Ask to hold your own event or activity at a library

Ask to hold your own event or activity at a library

What to do if you want to hold an event or activity at one of our libraries.

In order to keep our staff and library users safe we're only taking bookings for the use of our libraries outside of normal opening hours or for rooms separate from our main library floors.

We're still maintaining social distancing, ensuring our spaces are well ventilated and cleaned.

We also encourage people attending events to:

  • wear masks
  • use the hand sanitiser provided
  • check in using NHS Test & Trace

No drop in events can take place.

Attendees will need to book in advance of coming in so that we and hirers can control numbers, which must be no more than 50% of the normal capacity.

We welcome enquiries about holding your own events and activities at one of our libraries.

We’ll consider your enquiry in line with the Bristol library strategy, giving priority to events or activities that complement our aims and objectives.

Who can hold an event at a library

We can host events run by individuals or organisations, for example:

  • local organisations
  • charities
  • partners and community groups
  • friends’ groups
  • individuals

What events or activities you can hold at a library

Types of events or activities you could hold include:

  • events to promote literacy and reading, for example author events, reading groups, creative writing courses
  • children’s activities, for example music clubs, family art classes, coding clubs
  • arts and cultural events, for example lectures, film screenings, art therapy workshops
  • social events to support health and wellbeing, for example coffee mornings, reminiscence groups, advice sessions
  • display stand or stall (as long as it’s not considered political or could cause offence)

What we can provide

You can book: 

  • some libraries as whole venues
  • specific areas and meeting rooms if available

Check what spaces, rooms and capacities you could book.

We can provide equipment, including:

  • technical equipment, for example a PA system and microphone
  • furniture, for example tables and chairs
  • urns for hot drinks

We can also help you find people to provide catering if you need it.

What you need to provide

To hold an event in a library, you'll need:

  • your own public liability insurance
  • a risk assessment
  • a DBS check for everyone hosting the event or activity, if children, young people or vulnerable adults will be at your event

We’ll ask you to provide these either in person or by email, as part of the booking process.

We can help you with the process of getting these. 

How much it costs

You can hold events or activities at most libraries for free, unless:

  • it costs the library money, for example extra staffing for events outside normal staffed hours
  • the event or activity is for commercial gain

There are hire charges as standard for: 

  • Clifton Library Meeting Room
  • the Central Library Meeting Rooms
  • the Junction 3 Library rooms and facilities 

When we get your form, we’ll contact you to talk about your event and any charges that may apply

What we need to know

You need to tell us:

  • who your event is for
  • what type of event it is
  • which library or libraries you’d like to use
  • how we can help you
  • any equipment you need 
  • any additional requirements you have, for example accessibility adjustments such as large keyboards for computers

Ask to hold an event at a library