WDM Public Library Raises Unattended Minor Age from Eight to 10 Years Old

At the April 19 meeting of the West Des Moines Public Library Board of Trustees, the Board voted to raise the age at which children may be alone at the library from eight years of age to 10 years of age. The Board also decided that those acting as caregivers for younger patrons must be 14 years or older.

According to the library’s policies, parents, guardians, and caregivers must:

  • Stay at the library and provide direct, continuous supervision (in the same area of the library and within line of sight) of children younger than 10 years of age OR ensure that any caregivers with whom they leave their children are sufficiently responsible to provide care and are at least 14 years of age. Children between the ages of seven and 10 may attend library programs without a caregiver with them, but the caregiver is expected to remain in the building and join the child immediately following the program. Caregivers are also expected to remain immediately reachable should an issue arise during any library programs.
  • Ensure that vulnerable adults receive the care and supervision they require to be safe and healthy while visiting the library.
  • Encourage positive behavior of any patron in their care while in the library.
  • Cooperate with library staff if any patron in their care is disruptive or if they interfere with or endanger others.
  • Provide a means of transportation away from the library by the time the library closes.

Library staff will only intervene with unattended children if problems of safety, disruptive behavior, or well-being arise.

“The safety and well-being of patrons is a top priority for the West Des Moines Public Library Board of Trustees, Administration and staff,” says Darryl Eschete, library director. “These changes were made to ensure safe and pleasant library visits for everyone.”

View the entirety of our updated Policy Manual here.

The West Des Moines Public Library enriches the quality of life of community residents by providing convenient, timely and equal access to information and ideas. The library is committed to offering engaging activities, opportunities for personal and professional growth, promoting the love of reading and learning while remaining responsive to the changing needs of the community.

The WDM Library is guided by a citizen Board of Trustees and a series of board-approved Policies.