Unattended Minor Policy
The library welcomes and encourages patrons of all ages to visit the library and take advantage of the programs, services and resources that it offers. Responsibility for the safety and behavior of minors always rests with the parent, guardian, or assigned adult caregiver, and not with library staff. Staff cannot act in place of a parent, nor can library staff supervise unattended youth.
Children (under 7 years old)
Must be accompanied by an adult or sibling (over 10 years old) at all times while in the library.
Children (7-12 years old)
May be left in the library without an adult for reasonable periods of time, but parents are responsible for their behavior and will be contacted if necessary. (Reasonable periods of time may vary with a child’s maturity, but generally 3-4 hours (is) shall be considered acceptable).
Children (13 & up)
May be in the library without an adult present.
Children displaying inappropriate or destructive behavior will be informed of the rules. If inappropriate behavior continues, the child may be asked to leave the library. If a child is unaccompanied by an adult or appropriate-aged caregiver, and, in the judgment of the staff, is too young to travel the streets alone, the staff will attempt to contact a parent, guardian, or assigned caregiver. In the event that such child does not comply or if parents cannot be reached, the Police Department will be requested to assist. In that event, the library assumes no further responsibility for the child.
Parents and/or guardians, not library staff, are responsible for the behavior of their children using the library. Parents and /or guardians are also responsible for any damage to items, equipment, or property caused by their child.
Attendance at Library Programs
During library programs, children under the age of 7 must have their parent/caregiver/sibling (10 years or older) remain in the building for the duration of the program. There will be a sign in/sign out sheet available at programs. Children over the age of 7 that are unattended by an adult may sign themselves in and out of a program at any time in its duration. Parents/caregivers that sign their child in to a program and then leave the building must sign their child out before the child can leave the library. If a program ends early or a parent is late, staff will contact the parent and stay with the child until they can be signed out. If a parent signs a child in, the child cannot sign themselves out without parental permission. After signing out of a program, library staff assume no responsibility for the child.
Unattended Minors at Closing
No stranded child shall be ejected from the library at closing time. The library staff will attempt to a contact a parent or guardian or assigned caregiver up to 15 minutes after closing. After that time, staff will call the police and ask them to assume responsibility for the unattended child.
Temporary Guidelines during the Covid-19 Pandemic
Due to the difficulty of keeping unattended children from gathering in groups and keeping proper social distancing measures while in the library, it is necessary for all children under the age of 16 to be accompanied by an adult while inside of the library. This is only a temporary measure while under emergency circumstances due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This portion of the Unattended Minors Policy will expire on December 31, 2021 unless the state government lifts all emergency and social distancing measures prior to that date.
Adopted by Board of Trustees
November 19, 2018
Revised June 8, 2020