Rules, Regulations & Rates

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Regulations For Use Of Robbins Library For Functions

Space Available

The Reading Room and the lobby area on the first floor in the original 1892 wing of the Robbins Library is available for rental when the library is closed.  Built in 1892 in the style of an Italian Renaissance palace as a public library for the people of Arlington, the front entrance of the library is modeled after the Cancelleria Palace in Rome. The Reading Room features a fireplace, marble mosaic floor, antique oak wall, marble columns and gold leaf accentuated arches and ceiling. This room and the adjoining lobby are perfect for small parties by individuals, groups and businesses.
The Reading Room can hold approximately 50 people for a seated meal. A maximum of 90 people can be accommodated with limited seating. The tables, book shelving and the Oriental rug will be removed from the Reading Room to allow space for your function. Displays and the kiosk in the lobby can also be re-located.

The Reference Room and upper floors are not available.

The catering company can have access to the staff kitchen on the lower level after the library has closed.


The Reading Room and lobby area is available during hours the library is closed. Currently it is available after 5:30 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. In July and August it is available all day on Saturdays and after 12:00 p.m. on Sundays.


Who May Rent The Library

The Robbins Library Reading Room is available for groups of adults to use in the following order of priority:

Official Town purposes
Arlington non-profit organizations
Arlington residents for private functions
Other non-profit organizations
Other private functions

No political fundraising is allowed in the building.



No rental request will be scheduled until the written application has been received with all fees and confirmed by letter from the designated Function Manager. See the rate schedule below to determine the fees required.


Rate Schedule

Official Town organizations will need to pay the hourly rate of the function manager with a four-hour minimum of which two hours are for set-up and clean up. Arlington residents and non-profit organizations will pay a rental fee of  $200 per hour; private functions will pay $250. For all groups there is a four-hour minimum including set-up and clean-up. The hourly rate charged for the event will apply for any additional hours used beyond the four-hour minimum. A security deposit of $500 is also required.


To Reserve The Robbins Library

Two checks made out to “Robbins Library Trust Funds” must be received to reserve a date:

  • The Reservation Check- one-half the amount of the rental fee. The balance of the reservation fee is due one week before the event.
  • The Security Check-$500-a security deposit against potential damage. The security check is returned to you after the event providing:
    • All regulations for the use of the library have been observed.
    • There has been no damage to the Robbins Library building, its contents or grounds.

A completed application must accompany the checks.

Cancellation Policies

Cancellation notices must be in writing.  The fee refund schedule is below:
Full refund will be given for notices six months prior to the event.
A one-half refund will be given for notices 60 days prior to the event.
No refund within 60 days of the scheduled date.

General Rules

  • Self-catered parties are not permitted.
  • You must work with the Library Director or designee on the arrangements for your event. You must complete the “Details Checklist” and contact the Library Director at least two weeks before your function to verify all final details.
  • The Function Manager will determine with you the beginning and ending times for the event. According to the Town of Arlington
  • Bylaws, there cannot be undue noise after 11:00 p.m. The Library closes at midnight.  
  • The Function Manager will be the contact person on the day of the function and will be present at the event.
  • The maximum number that can be accommodated is 100.
  • Rental of tables and chairs for functions is the responsibility of the renter.
  • Library personnel will remove all upholstered chairs and the Oriental rug from the Reading Room prior to the function. All other furniture, lamps, sculptures and paintings etc. will remain in the room.
    The computer equipment on the Circulation Desk may not be removed.
  • Maximum precautions must be taken to safeguard the irreplaceable materials collection of the library.  No candles may be used.
  • Smoking is prohibited within the library.
  • Nails or tape must not be used on the walls or woodwork.
  • Caterers may use the staff kitchen on the basement level. The kitchen floor must always be free of hazardous materials (water, spillage, garbage, etc.)
  • Caterers and renters must leave the kitchen in the same condition they found it. All catering and rental equipment must be removed immediately following the function. Caterers must remove all trash, bottles, cans and garbage from the premises. After clean up, caterers and managers must contact the Function Manager to check the premises.
  • The driveway in front of the library is a fire lane. Parking is allowed only to drop off equipment and supplies. Otherwise it must be kept clear at all times.

Infraction of the rules above may result in the loss of your security deposit and possible legal action.

Liability To Persons And Property

Any approved applicant agrees to assume liability for any and all personal injury or property damage resulting directly or indirectly from the applicant’s use of the premises. The approved applicant further agrees to hold the Town and its Committee, agents, employees and the Board of Library Trustees harmless from any and all liability, claims or assessments arising out of the applicant’s use of the Robbins Library.
The Town assumes no responsibility and expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility for damage to personal property belonging to the applicant, guests or employees in or on the premises, for injury to persons invited to the premises or employed by the applicant for any purpose whatsoever.
The applicant shall agree to be responsible for and to reimburse the Town for any loss or damage to the building, its contents, equipment or grounds by the applicant, guests, employees or servers.
The Library Director after consultation with the Town Counsel reserves the right to require liability insurance that insures the Town depending upon the number of participants at the event.
If any alcoholic beverage is to be served, then the applicant shall secure liquor liability insurance, naming the Town of Arlington/Robbins Library as an additional insured, in the amount of $1,000,000. A copy of the insurance certificate must be in place with the Library Director and the Town Counsel one week in advance of the event. Failure to do so will result in no alcohol being served.

  • All alcohol (including champagne, toasts and alcohol-spiked punches) must be served by a hired, certified bartender.
  • Bar service must close one half-hour before the end of the event.
  • If there will be a charge for the drinks served, then a special “one day permit” for serving alcoholic beverages must be obtained from the Town of Arlington’s Select Board.
  • You may take extra alcohol at the end of the party only at the discretion of the Function Manager. Only unopened bottles may be taken.


A permit for the sale of alcohol (“one-day sale of alcohol permit) may be obtained from the Arlington Select Board. You must submit a letter to that office specifying the type of event you are having, the date and time and location of the event, and your plans for bartending service and liability insurance. You may contact the Select Board. Your request must be approved officially by the Select Board, so you must allow enough time for your request to be on their agenda.


Penalties For Violations Of State Laws

Criminal penalties are provided by statute (General Laws, Chapter 143) for violation of State Laws relating to public safety in buildings. Exceptions to these laws may not be made.

Applicants are responsible for obtaining any local and state licenses required for the proposed use of the Robbins Library.

11/05; Amended 11/07