Client Guidelines | Newberry

Client Guidelines

Sconces illuminate Ruggles Hall.

Sconces illuminate Ruggles Hall.

Download or print a copy of the Client Guidelines. We ask that caterers and florists also note the Caterer Guidelines and Florist Guidelines we have for events at the Newberry.


The client is responsible for selection and use of a caterer. For 2015 & 2016 rentals, the Newberry has entered into an exclusive arrangement with an assortment of moderately priced local caterers. These Exclusive Caterers can provide a range of cuisines, menu options, and prices. All events held at the Newberry in 2015 must be catered by one of these Exclusive Caterers. For a list of these caterers please contact the Office of Events at (312) 255-3595 or email us at

The caterer is responsible for providing all personnell, material, and equipment for the event. The caterer is also responsible for (1) set-up and break-down of equipment and the kitchen prep area, (2) maintaining event space including but not limited to: quickly cleaning up any food or drink spills during event, (3) clearing away equipment, and (4) cleaning all prep areas.

The use of butane or propane burners inside the library is strictly prohibited and cannot be brought into the Newberry.


We have compiled a list of recommended photographers, florists, and musicians from which you are welcome to choose. If you prefer to use someone not on our list, that information must be submitted to the Events Office prior to signing a contract or submitting a deposit to that vendor. The Library assumes no responsibility and/or liability for monies forfeited by the client resulting from failure to obtain prior approval of the vendor. If a vendor has not previously worked at the Newberry, the vendor is required to meet with the Events and Facilities staff and sign our Vendor Guidelines prior to contract signing.


All vendors new to working at the Newberry are asked to please contact the Office of Events at (312) 255-3595 or for an appointment so that we may show them the space in which they will be working. Someone in the Office of Events will be available between 10 am and 4 pm, Tuesday through Saturday. Special appointments can be arranged.

Alcoholic Beverages

Must be provided by caterer or client. If you provide your own beverages, the caterer must serve them. All left-over beverages must be removed that evening. The library is not responsible for any beverages left overnight.


A non-refundable deposit is required at the time the date of the event is confirmed and the remainder due 10 days prior to the event. Any overtime charges will be billed separately. All contracts must be signed and received at the time the deposit is given. Any damages incurred during the event will be billed to the client.

Provision of Staff and Equipment

The Newberry will provide a representative from the Office of Events, a security guard, a facilities coordinator, use of prep areas, and washrooms. The responsibility of returning the prep room to its original condition rests with the caterer. The client will be responsible for the caterer’s compliance.


The library’s parking lot is available to you and your guests for events that take place while the building is closed.

Displays and Decorations

All displays and/or decorations proposed by the client must be free standing. Nothing can be attached to any of the walls, sconces, or doors either inside or outside the building. All displays and/or decorations proposed by the client must be approved by pre-approved (10 days prior to event) by both Events and Facilities Department Represetatives. All preparations for the event must be initiated, completed, and removed on the date of the function.

Live trees cannot be used as decor. No sparklers or bubbles of any kind are permitted by Newberry property and must take place on the opposite side of the street from the Newberry. All preparations for the event must be initiated, completed, and fully removed on the date of the event. The Library is not responsible for any material left overnight.

Any decorations provided by the Newberry remain the property of the Newberry and are not to be removed. If any Newberry decor is damaged or removed, the client accepts full responsibility for reimbursement.


Use of votives and/or enclosed candles is allowed but must be approved prior to your event by Events Representative. No taper candles are permitted in the Newberry. No candles are permitted on the floor for Ceremony Aisle Decor.


The client assumes full responsibility for the conduct of persons attending the event and for any damage done to any part of the library. The client indemnifies and holds harmless the library against any and all claims, liabilities, or costs in conjunction with the event.