Library Plaza Background
Providing a forum for student expression is vital to the learning environment of the University. As a state institution, the University of Illinois adheres to the protections guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Free speech, free expression, and peaceable assembly are basic to the exchange of ideas and beliefs. Academic progress and freedom flourish when the rights of free expression are assured, particularly at an institution of higher education.
In accord with the Campus Administrative Manual, Library Plaza Public Engagement Area, herein referred to as the Library Plaza has been designated as a public forum due to its high visibility to the student body, easy access, and its location as being less likely to disrupt or obstruct University activities and functions (when activity occurs there). Library Plaza refers to the formal space located at the ground level north of the library vestibule between the risers/stairs approaching the library overlook and Foellinger Auditorium.
Although the University can place time, place, and manner restrictions on expression, this is done without regard to the views expressed during the program and any restrictions must be viewpoint neutral and serve a legitimate University purpose.
Included in the Library Plaza programming capabilities is the ability for Registered Organizations to conduct basic events like information tables/distribution, fundraising, and event publicity. While there are different restrictions and limitations for formal programs and information-based distribution, the same policies and basic reservations process are in place for all events that occur on Library Plaza. A sample of programming events that could be supported on Library Plaza include, but are not limited to, speeches, rallies, protests, demonstrations, vigils, and large scale educational/awareness displays.
Library Plaza has been equipped with outdoor speakers and a microphone jack for use with programs that require amplified sound. Amplified sound is restricted to a single microphone and projection of voice only through the installed equipment. Consistent with the University’s policy on amplified sound, the equipment is programmed to operate from 12-1pm only.
Registering to use the Library Plaza for Tabling
Organizations who want to have space reserved for events such as information distribution and fundraisers shall submit a Space Request Form to the Office of Registered Organizations, 280 Illini Union. These type of activities are simple in nature and do not necessarily constitute formal programming. Upon processing the Space Request Form, if the Registered Organization is in good standing, space may be assigned to the group for their event. Groups utilizing space for this type of event shall be located specifically on the Library Plaza, north of the stairs leading to the Undergraduate Library vestibules and extending out and around the landscaping bollards. Sponsoring organizations may not extend above the stairs approaching the library overlook. Sponsoring organizations may setup tables for their information-based purposes. While amplification is not permitted with these types of reservations, small radios may be utilized so long as the volume is maintained at a reasonable level that does not detract from another group’s activity.
Registering to Use Library Plaza
Organizations that want to host formal programs including but not limited to demonstrations, rallies, speeches, concerts, vigils, and film screenings on Library Plaza must submit a Space Request Form to and receive prior approval for the proposed event from the Office of Registered Organizations. Approval is contingent upon the organization being in good standing and may include a meeting with the Director. Upon being allocated the space for the proposed event, the sponsoring organization must adhere to the Student Code and follow the “Library Plaza Registration Rules” and abide by all “Rules Governing the Use of Library Plaza.”
Registered organizations who want to sponsor these types of events may do so as long as the event does not disrupt or interrupt the regular and essential operation of the University; interfere with the rights of others; and/or destroy property. Registration of such events through the Office of Registered Organizations is encouraged as it will help insure that there is an orderly scheduling of facilities, the opportunity for adequate preparation for the event, and that the demonstration and/or rally is conducted in a manner appropriate to the University community. Failure to properly register the event and receive event approval may result in sanctions being imposed upon the sponsoring organization. No multi-media services will be provided by the University if the event has not been previously approved and scheduled.
Registration of the demonstration and/or rally is further requested to avoid the problem of competition for space. This process serves as a means to facilitate the coexistence of students' rights to speak and the rights of others to access academic programs and scheduled functions of the University. Since the Library Plaza is a popular programming space, if more than one event is planned for the same area, priority is given to organizations who registered their assembly with the Illini Union Office of Registered Organizations.
Sound equipment may be used on Library Plaza but is regulated to prevent interference with academic programs or other scheduled events (see “Rules Governing the Use of Library Plaza” below for specific information regarding time). Amplifying equipment for musical instruments is not permitted. A Request for Use of University Premises and Facilities form is available from the Office of Registered Organizations, 280 Illini Union. If you have a question about whether your organization’s proposed event needs to be registered with the Office of Registered Organizations, you should contact the Office at (217) 244-2357 for clarification.
Procedures and Rules Regarding Library Plaza:
Steps for Reserving and Using Library Plaza for Tabling/Information-Based Purposes:
Rules Governing the Use of Library Plaza
- Groups seeking to use the Plaza for tabling purposes initiate the approval process by submitting a Space Request Form to Illini Union Room 280.
- For fundraising events, an “Event Budget Form” (available in Illini Union 280) must accompany the Space Request Form and all revenue generated must be deposited into the Organization Fund Account at Henry Administration Building.
- For information tables, a basic description of the type of information being distributed shall be indicated on the Space Request Form.
- If the organization is registered and in good standing, event approval will be provided by the Office of Registered Organizations and space approval will be completed by the appropriate reservations office depending on the day and time of the event.
- Information tables may be reserved through the Office of Registered Organizations upon receipt of the reservation confirmation.
- Reservations will be confirmed beginning March 1 for events in the summer sessions, June 1 for events in the fall semester, and November 1 for events in the spring semester.
- All policies and procedures governing the use of Library Plaza remain consistent with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Student Code and the Campus Administrative Manual.
- Due to the size and limits on its use, reservations for formal programming on Library Plaza for programming purposes are restricted to one organization/event at a time. Multiple organizations can be approved for reservations for information distribution, solicitations, fundraising, etc., as space permits.
- Library Plaza may be reserved by registered organizations, university departments, and students/faculty/staff for programming that is sponsored by their respective unit. Priority for use of Library Plaza is given to Registered Organizations. Non-University entities are prohibited from reserving Library Plaza.
- All Registered Organizations must submit a space request form for the use of Library Plaza. In order to meet the potential needs that each organization has, all space request forms must be received by the Office of Registered Organizations in a timely manner.
- All formal event requests require a meeting with the Program Director for the Office of Registered Organizations and the organization’s event coordinator prior to receiving event and/or space approval.
- Amplified sound (voice only) is permitted Monday-Friday between the hours of Noon-1pm.
- All events that are held in Library Plaza may not impede pedestrian traffic nor disrupt the functions of the University.
- An authorized agent of the sponsoring organization must be present at the event and be available for consultation, discussion, and assistance if needed.
- A reservation made by a Registered Organization may not be turned over to another organization, individual, or non-university affiliate.
- Sponsoring organization is expected to manage the event in a manner that upholds the ideals of the University’s community.
- Any reasonable request made prior to or during the program by campus administrators must be addressed immediately as these types of requests are in reference to campus operational needs, university policies, and public safety.
Failure for an organization and/or individual to abide by any of the above rules or policies may result in their removal from Library Plaza and/or prohibition from reserving the space in the future. Any questions regarding student use of Library Plaza or its registration may be directed to the Office of Registered Organizations in the Illini Union, room 284 or (217) 244-2357.
Administrative Management of Events/Programs Occurring on Library Plaza
The Illini Union, as a unit within the Division of Student Affairs, provides administrative oversight to the programs that occur on Library Plaza to ensure registered organizations have the right to assembly, that campus policies are upheld, and that public safety is maintained. The Illini Union Office of Registered Organizations and provides direct event and logistic management of these programs and this venue to ensure the sponsoring organization is adhering to the policies and procedures set forth for their use and for the type of programs being sponsored. The Illini Union Office of Registered Organizations and shall be responsible for primary interaction with the authorized agents of the sponsoring organization and shall remain in communication with these agents prior to, during, and following any program. The Program Director of the Office of Registered Organizations, per the Student Code, retains the authority to sanction to the sponsoring organization shall any violation of these policies occur.
University Library officials may confer with the Office of Registered Organizations on events occurring at Library Plaza and disclose information about the nature of events observed.
University Library Patron Policies
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library's mission is to encourage scholarly research by maintaining an environment conducive to study in all units of the University Library system. Library users are expected to act responsibly, appropriately, and courteously to preserve the library facilities, environment, and collections. All programming on the Library Plaza may not disrupt the functions within the University Library system and all programs on the Library Plaza are expected to adhere to the Library Patron Policies. In addition, all Library Sign Posting Policies must be adhered to, including prior authorization by the Library for signs to be affixed to exterior walls, doors, entrances, and any indoor venue.