Children’s Use of the Library (Unattended Children)
Service to children is a major focus of the Library’s mission. As long as children act responsibly in accordance with Library policy, they may use the Library any time it is open. The Library does not have a specific responsibility to care for or watch out for children left unattended in its facilities. If an unattended child behaves in a disruptive manner, the child may be warned, and if behavior continues, the child will be asked to leave the Library and/or the police may be called.
Parents/legal guardians are responsible for the behavior of their children and teachers or group leaders are responsible for conduct of their students or groups while they are in the Library for a class visit or tour. Library personnel may ask parents/caregivers/teachers/group leaders to leave the Library with the children in their care if they are unable to correct disruptive behaviors.
At no time will staff members accompany or assist children who need to use the restroom.
Parents/legal guardians are encouraged to use the library with their children and share in the wonderful knowledge and resources that are available. However, it is understood that there are times that a parent/legal guardian is not able to visit the library with their child. As such, the following apply:
- Children under the age of ten (10) must be accompanied by a responsible person aged sixteen (16) or older while in the facility or on the grounds of the Library.
- Parents or the responsible caregiver may not leave children under the age of ten (10) unattended. Parents or the responsible caregiver must remain with their children while the child is attending library programs.
- Children ages ten (10) and older may use the Library unattended for any length of time as long as their conduct is acceptable in a library setting and general conduct rules are observed.
- Children of any age with mental, physical, or emotional disabilities which may affect decision making skills or render supervision necessary must be accompanied by a parent or responsible caregiver at all times.
- If an underage child is left unattended in the Library, staff will attempt to locate his or her parents or guardians.
- Staff may not remain after hours to care for an unattended underage child.
- Staff may not give an unattended underage child a ride.
- For the safety of the child, staff will not leave an unattended underage child outside to wait on a ride after the Library is closed.
- If a parent or guardian of an unattended underage child cannot be reached, staff will call police officers to escort the child home or to keep the child until the parents can be reached and transportation arranged.
The Library does not allow loitering. Library personnel reserve the right to ask anyone loitering or otherwise conducting himself or herself in a suspicious manner in the children’s or teen’s area to leave the premises.