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Due to a contract conflict between two software vendors, our DC Public Library app is currently experiencing functionality limitations, particularly with the "Search the catalog" and "Popular Titles" features located at the top. The vendors are working to resolve this issue as soon as possible. The library's catalog can still be accessed via our website both on mobile and on desktop, for your convenience.

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Meeting room are offered free of charge to anyone with a library card. This quick guide can help you plan your event within our meeting room rules.

Meeting Room Guide

Reserving a Room

Who can make a room reservation

Any group, regardless of the affiliations of its members, may use library meeting/study room space as long as the group complies with the policies and procedures detailed here, as well as all library rules, and all applicable local, state, and federal laws. Failure to abide by any of these policies, rules or laws may result in the suspension of meeting room privileges.


How to make a room reservation

The fastest way to book a room is through our online reservation system. You can also make reservations by phone or in person at any neighborhood library

  • You will need your library card number and an e-mail address or phone number in order to complete the reservation request.
  • Meeting room reservations will be reviewed by a staff member within 48 hours of receiving your request, so be sure to book ahead. You can book 60 days in advance.
  • Customers can reserve a meeting room three (3) times in a thirty (30) day period, for up to three (3) hours per reservation. This limit is library-system-wide and is not specific to any one location. Customers can reserve a study room up to two (2) times per day, for up to three (3) hours per reservation. 
  • You must be 18 years or older to reserve a meeting room. Study rooms may be booked by customers aged 13 or older.  


Room reservation denials

Staff may deny a room reservation if it is determined that:

  • The purpose of the meeting or activity is illegal or poses a potential security or health risk.
  • The purpose of the meeting is for commercial, personal, or promotional purposes.
  • The purpose of the meeting does not comply with library rules and regulations.
  • The conduct of the meeting interferes with the functioning of the library.
  • The applicant has failed to comply with library behavior rules in the past.


Using Meeting Rooms

Closed meetings

Closed/private meetings are not allowed. All events in library meeting rooms must be open to the public and free of charge. However, you may contact the Events Department at to rent space for a private meeting at the MLK Library.



Food is not permitted in meeting rooms unless there is prior authorization. Drinking with covered cups is allowed in all meeting rooms.


Set-up and breakdown time

Reservations do not include set-up and breakdown time, so you should include any set-up and breakdown time into your reservation. There is a 15-minute block between reservations. This means that you cannot arrive more than 15 minutes before your scheduled start time and you cannot depart more than 15 minutes after your scheduled end time.


Room set-ups and special furniture needs

Neighborhood libraries are not able to accommodate special requests for specific room set-ups or moving of furniture. You can move the furniture in the room to your needs as long as you return the room to its original state. Be sure to plan set-up and clean-up time into your room reservation. 

You can rent space at MLK Library for a fee that includes room setup support. 


A/V Equipment

Audio-visual equipment and support varies by location; information about what is available can be found in the reservation system. You may bring your own audio-visual equipment for your group’s use.



Any audio or visual recording taking place inside a library must be approved by the library before the meeting occurs. If you are interested in recording your meeting please contact the library at the time that you make your reservation. If approval is granted, it is your responsibility to inform participants that they will be recorded through your advertising or other publicity efforts.


Room capacity

Capacity information for each room is listed in the reservation system. Room capacity is determined by the DC Fire Marshal’s office and is listed as the maximum standing capacity. 

Managing Your Reservation

Modify, cancel, or check the status of your reservation

You can log in with your library card number and PIN to check the status of your upcoming reservations, adjust or cancel existing reservations, or view past reservations.


Grace periods for reservations

We give customers a 15-minute window for late arrival before we cancel the reservation. If you can’t make the reservation, please let us know as soon as possible.

If you cancel within 8 hours of your reservation start time, the meeting will count toward your meeting room reservation limit. If you don’t show up for a reservation and don’t cancel, the reservation will count toward your meeting room reservation limit.