Library Room Booking Policy

The use of Library rooms is regulated by this policy. For the purpose of this policy, the word “rooms” includes rooms or spaces in Halifax Public Libraries facilities, including Study Rooms and Media Studios, which are available for booking.

This policy applies equally to all rooms, except where indicated. This policy outlines the fees, underlying principles for those fees, the priorities of use and the conditions for use for meeting rooms, community and event spaces available for rent from the Library. Halifax Public Libraries supports the Canadian Federation of Libraries Association Statement on Intellectual Freedom and Libraries while also seeking to maintain a welcoming and supporting environment free from discrimination and harassment.

The Halifax Regional Library Board reserves the right to earmark rooms for staff use and Library sponsored or co-sponsored programs and events. The Library also reserves the right to limit bookings during times when the Library is closed and/or when staff resources are unavailable; or to cancel bookings.

The following Branches have rooms available for booking:

  • Alderney Gate Public Library
  • Bedford Public Library
  • Cole Harbour Public Library
  • Halifax Central Library
  • Halifax North Memorial Public Library
  • Keshen Goodman Public Library
  • Musquodoboit Harbour Public Library
  • Sackville Public Library
  • Sheet Harbour Public Library
  • Tantallon Public Library
  • Woodlawn Public Library

Rooms are generally available for use during Library open hours, unless otherwise indicated. Depending upon the availability of approved security, janitorial and Library staff some rooms in Halifax Central Library may be booked outside regular hours.

Room Bookings

  1. Permission to use these facilities does not imply any endorsement of the aims, policies or activities of any group or individual.
  2. All meetings must be conducted in a manner consistent with the Customer Conduct Policy, and according to the Terms and Conditions, as they may be amended from time-to-time.
  3. Charitable fundraising is not permitted on Library property unless authorized by the Chief Librarian & CEO. Gaming, including lotteries is not permitted.
  4. Library staff will have access to facilities at all times and may attend free of charge any event or meeting held on Library premises for the purposed of auditing or reviewing compliance with Library policies and the Terms and Conditions.
  5. Press conferences are permitted only with the approval of the Chief Librarian & CEO.
  6. Functions requiring an admission or registration fee are permitted only with the approval of the appropriate District Manager.
  7. Activities taking place in rooms at the Library must be contained to the reserved space and not flow into other areas of the Library.
  8. Private receptions and social events may be accommodated in designated locations, subject to the Terms and Conditions.
  9. Sales of goods are not permitted unless authorized by the appropriate District Manager except for Books and CDs sold at author readings or book signings.

When making the Library’s rooms available for use, the Library is committed to ensuring the dignity and safety of the public and staff without disruption to Library services, and to maintaining the security of Library property.

The Library reserves the right to deny or cancel a booking when it reasonably believes:

  • use by any individual or group will be for a purpose that is likely to promote, or would have the effect of promoting discrimination, contempt or hatred for any group or person on the basis of age, race, colour, creed (religion), ethnic, Indigenous origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, family status, physical disability, mental disability, source of income, association with protected groups or individuals, or political belief, affiliation or activity, or any other similar factor;
  • use by any individual or group will be for a purpose or action that is contrary to the law, including hate propaganda laws;
  • there has been a misrepresentation by the individual or group booking the space as to the purpose of the meeting;
  • there is a likelihood of physical hazard to participants or audiences or a misuse of premises or equipment.
  • use by individuals, clubs, groups and organizations is intended to establish the Library as a permanent location for their activities, including establishing offices in Library event space

The Library requires potential users of Community Space Rentals to confirm that they will not be conducting any business or activities that are in violation of this policy, the Criminal Code of Canada (including hate propaganda laws), and the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act. Past misuse or non-payment of fees is also sufficient grounds for denial of an application.

Applicants who are denied permission to use these facilities may, upon written request, have the decision reviewed by the Chief Librarian & CEO, whose decision shall be final.

Rooms are booked directly through the appropriate branch and may be made up to six months in advance. A Room Booking Contract or Event Agreement must be completed to confirm all bookings, except Study Rooms and the Media Studios.  Exceptions for Premium Rental Spaces at the Halifax Central Library will be considered on a case by case basis.

To ensure the widest possible access to rooms by community organizations, the Library does not generally accept requests from a single organization for more than 6 bookings in a 6-month period, except for the Study Rooms and Media Studios. The Library may consider exceptions based on the general room availability in the requested location; whether the program is open to the public; and whether the organization has an existing partnership with the Library.

Study Rooms (Cole Harbour, Sackville, Woodlawn Branches)

  • Study Rooms are booked in person or by phone by contacting the Information Desk at the specific location. A valid Halifax Public Libraries card is required.
  • Study Rooms may be booked up to 7 days in advance for a maximum of 2 hours per day per person or group.
  • Study Room bookings will be held for 10 minutes past the reserved booking time.

Media Studios and Media Studio Computers (Halifax Central Library only)

  • The Media Recording Studios and Media studio computers are booked in person or by phone by contacting the Halifax Central Library Service Desk; a valid Halifax Public Libraries card is required.
  • Customers must complete an orientation to the Media Studios and Media Studio computers prior to booking.

Room Booking Fees

Rooms are generally booked for a half day or full day. A half day is defined as a booking of 4 hours or less. The full day rate applies to bookings of more than 4 hours.  Alternative rates and additional charges will apply for booking Premium Rental Spaces at the Halifax Central Library.

Fees charged for room bookings vary according to whether the renting organization / group is non-profit or a commercial/private renter.

A non-profit organization is one whose purpose is service to the community rather than financial gain, including registered charities and community groups. 


  • Churches and religious groups
  • Cultural organizations
  • Public educational institutions
  • Governments and government agencies (provincial, federal)
  • Multicultural groups and associations
  • Registered political parties                                          
  • Residents / Taxpayers associations
  • Service clubs and organizations
  • Youth groups

A commercial organization is one whose purpose is to conduct its operations in order to realize financial profit.

A private organization or individual will be charged the commercial rate for Premium Rental Spaces at the Halifax Central Library.

Co-sponsored Events

No room rental fees will be charged for events that are co-sponsored with the Library. The decision to co-sponsor an event is made by the appropriate district manager. In some co-sponsored events, such as author readings, the Library may provide the opportunity for the public to purchase books or CDs at the event. Co-sponsored events may be promoted through the Library’s communication channels.

Paid Admission Events

Recognizing the value of Paul O’Regan Hall as a community performance venue, paid/ticketed events will be permitted in this venue.

Paid events are those sponsored by either a non-profit or commercial/private organization or individual which require participants to pay a registration fee or purchase a ticket for a one-time workshop or performance. 

Halifax Central Library Rooms 302 and Windsor Foundation Room

Rooms 302 and the Windsor Foundation Room at the Halifax Central Library may be booked in half -day or full day blocks or by the hour at the approved rate plus HST.

Customers may book these rooms, free of charge, for up to 2 hours if the booking is scheduled for the same day as the request is made.

Study Rooms

The Cole Harbour, Sackville and Woodlawn Public Libraries have study rooms which may be booked without charge for use during regular Library open hours for individuals and small groups to meet.

Media Studios and Media Studio Computers

There are two Media Studios and four Media Studio computers at Halifax Central Library which may be booked free of charge. 

After Hours Events

After hours events may be booked at Halifax Central Library with certain conditions.

Food and Beverages

Policies regarding the serving of food and non-alcoholic beverages vary by location depending on the availability of kitchen facilities and cleaning arrangements. Notification of the intent to serve food and beverages should be given at time of booking.

All food/beverage arrangements, set-up and clean-up are the responsibility of the organization booking the room.  All food and beverage items are to be removed from the meeting room at the conclusion of the booking period.  Specific rules apply for the catering of food and beverages in Premium Rental Space at the Halifax Central Library.

Serving alcohol at events within the Library is only permitted within a Premium Rental Space at the Halifax Central Library and is regulated by the Library’s Serving of Alcohol Policy.

Room Set-up / Take Down

Organizations are responsible for the set-up of the room. A certain number of tables and chairs are provided in each room. Additional tables and chairs may be available in some locations, if requested. Organizations are responsible for leaving the room in a clean and organized condition. Set-up and take down must occur within the timeframe of the booking.

Audio Visual Equipment

Availability of audio visual (A/V) equipment may vary by location. A/V equipment may be made available on request for a scheduled fee when the Library is open. Requests for equipment should be made at the time of booking. Organizations are responsible for the operation of such equipment, as well as any damage or replacement costs, except for the professional quality performance equipment in Paul O’Regan Hall.

Organizations are responsible for the rental of any equipment beyond what is available at the Library. The Library reserves the right to regulate the use and installation of all additional equipment. All equipment must conform to fire and safety codes. Premium Rental Space at the Halifax Central Library has special rules for A/V equipment.

Promotion / Publicity

Organizations holding a publicly advertised event in a room at Halifax Public Libraries must clearly advertise that they are the sponsor of their event. Advertising may not imply endorsement by the Library of the content of the program or event. The Halifax Regional Library Board takes no position on the views, ideas or opinions of the organizations booking its rooms.

A sign to indicate location of the meeting or event may be posted in designated spaces within the Library one hour prior to the start of the event.

Films and Music

In accordance with the Canadian Copyright Act any viewing or exhibition of films must have Public Performance Rights. Films may be shown if a license has been purchased by the organizer from a rights holder such as Audio Cine Films or Criterion Pictures. The Library assumes no responsibility if a film is shown in non-compliance with the licensing requirements.

The Library will not show first run movies or any movies prior to their video released window date (as defined by the Motion Picture Association of America), nor show any movies that are currently being shown in commercial movie theatres in the Halifax Regional Municipality.

Where music is publicly performed or played, a SOCAN (Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada) license fee must be paid for by the organizer. For pre-recorded music, a Re:Sound license fee may also be required. The Library assumes no responsibility if music is publicly performed or played in non-compliance with the licensing requirements.

Revised: June 2022

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