Auditorium Policy

The Nancy Howe Auditorium serves as the center for cultural and educational programming at the library. When not being used by the library, the space is available to both businesses and not-for-profit community groups located within Allegany County.
Use of the auditorium does not imply an endorsement, support, or co-sponsorship by the library of the activities that take place in the auditorium or of the beliefs of the groups using the auditorium.

Auditorium Availability

  1. The auditorium is available to not-for-profit community groups in Allegany County on a first come, first served basis. The auditorium is also available to businesses within Allegany County, so long as it is for the purpose of sharing information and informational resources. The transaction and/or marketing of products and/or services for money are not permitted.
  2. All not-for-profit groups have an equal right to use the auditorium. Not-for-profit groups take precedence over businesses when reserving the auditorium. Generally, no group will be allowed exclusive rights to a specific day or meeting time. The library reserves the right to reassign reservations or cancel reservations within a timely manner.
  3. Reservations for the Nancy Howe Auditorium may be made by calling the auditorium director at (585) 593-3410. Reservations are made by the auditorium director only and by the library director in the auditorium director’s absence.


Below are the fees charged to not-for-profit community groups and businesses for the Nancy Howe Auditorium outside of regular library hours. Fees are not charged for use of the auditorium during regular library hours. No fees will be charged to any community group or business that reserves the auditorium outside of regular library hours to raise full funds for the library. Fees are subject to change at the beginning of each library fiscal year. The library requires a $50 security deposit from any organization requesting a reservation 60 days prior to a specific date. If an organization chooses to cancel their reservation date, they must do so 30 days prior in order to receive a full refund. All reservations cancelled following the 30 day deadline are non-refundable. Security deposits will be applied to an organization’s final invoice. See Policy on Auditorium Usage and Reservations 2014 for specific fees.

Hourly rental fees include all hours the auditorium is occupied outside of regular library hours. This takes into account the time required to setup for an event, the time of the event and the time needed to clean-up after an event. Fees charged by the library are strictly used to offset expenses incurred by the library, maintain building conditions and support general operations.


  1. All individuals and groups must comply with the “Rules of Conduct” policy of the library. (A copy of the “Rules of Conduct” policy is provided with this Policy on Auditorium Usage and Reservations)
  2. No alcoholic beverages may be served without the library director’s and library board’s permission. Groups are responsible to obtain all necessary permits to dispense and/or sell alcoholic beverages. Failure to obtain and present permit will result in loss of meeting room reservation and/or ability to distribute alcohol.
  3. All event advertising for groups holding fund-raisers at the library or auditorium must be clear who the fund-raiser benefits, and specifically state in small print, “This is Not a Fundraiser for the David A. Howe Public Library.”
  4. Occupancy for the auditorium is 300 people. All groups must comply with occupancy requirements. Any violations will result in a $100 fine, which will be applied to an organization’s final invoice. Occupancy violations may also result in suspension of future auditorium use.
  5. Children’s groups (Under the age of 18) must be supervised by adults.
  6. Groups are responsible to leave the auditorium in its original condition on the day of and immediately following the reservation. Any damage to the auditorium will be assessed and billed to the group by the library.
  7. No selling, solicitation, or taking of orders may occur anywhere on library property without permission of the library director and/or library board. Performers may sell intellectual and creative property with prior approval from the auditorium director.
  8. No admission may be charged unless it is a fundraising event for a not-for-profit community group. The library director’s and/or library board’s permission is required.
  9. All equipment, props and stage materials used by or manufactured by an organization must be assembled within the designated area outlined by the auditorium director. Glue, tape, paint and any other item that can permanently adhere is not allowed on the stage of the auditorium.
  10. All equipment that is marked and owned by the David A. Howe Public Library must stay in the auditorium. Equipment including: speakers, microphones, monitors, light fixtures and accessories may not leave the building or be borrowed.
  11. Use of sound and light equipment must be approved by the Auditorium Director and is the responsibility of a designated group representative. The group should anticipate, within reason, the equipment needed and request that equipment from the Auditorium Director. Fees will be assessed and billed by the library for any equipment damaged by an organization.
  12. The auditorium’s lighting and sound systems were specifically designed for standard stage and show productions. Light fixtures are not to be added or removed for the purpose of accommodating different organizations or productions. Organizations must use sound and light equipment “as is.” Additional speakers, monitors or microphones may be added if system specifications allow, and with the approval of the auditorium director.
  13. Food and drink is not allowed in the viewing area of the auditorium. Food and drink may be allowed in the auditorium lobby and the outside forecourt. Food and drink in the backstage area will only be allowed with approval from the Auditorium Director.
  14. The library is not responsible for any items damaged or stolen. All items are left in the auditorium at the owner’s risk.
  15. Any group using the auditorium must have a contact person who assumes responsibility for the group and is present when the group occupies the auditorium. This responsibility may be delegated to another responsible adult. The auditorium director must have contact information for both group representatives.
  16. The library holds a general building and liability insurance policy that protects the library from financial hardship in the event of injury and emergency. This policy does not protect the interest of other organizations, their employees, volunteers or other representatives of the organization. Individual organizations are responsible for obtaining their own insurances to protect them from liabilities. The library reserves the right to request proof of insurance from individual organizations prior to auditorium reservations. When making a reservation for the auditorium, an individual organization takes full responsibility for obtaining proper insurance to protect themselves and their organization.
  17. No reservation dates are guaranteed until this Policy on Auditorium Usage and Reservations are signed by the library and the organization wanting to use the auditorium.
  18. A signed copy of this policy by the library and the not-for-profit community group and/or businesses will act as a legal binding agreement between the library and the organization reserving the library’s meeting rooms and/or Auditorium.

Policy on Auditorium Usage and Reservations 2014

Updated: October 9, 2018 — 11:56 am