UNATTENDED CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE ADULTS
Adopted by Board Action 4/19/2022
The Library Board of Trustees, Library Administration and staff are concerned for the safety and welfare of children and vulnerable adults who use the library unattended by a parent, guardian or caregiver. Library staff cannot provide babysitting, supervision, or childcare service for library patrons. Library staff cannot assume responsibility for unattended young people who are on library grounds after hours, nor can library staff extend open hours or remain in the building after hours with library patrons of any age. Staff members have no authorization to assume a guardian’s role in these cases or to transport or assume custody of young library patrons.
It is the responsibility of parents, guardians and caregivers to:
- Stay at the library and provide direct, continuous supervision (in the same area of the library and within eyesight) 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 7 and 10 may attend library programs without a caregiver 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 are disruptive or if they interfere with or endanger others.
- Provide a means of transportation away from the library by the time the library closes.
The Library Board respects the rights and privacy of all library patrons. Library staff will only intervene if children are left unattended and problems of safety, disruptive behavior, or well-being occurs.
If a child or vulnerable adult is left unattended, is disruptive, or needs supervision, staff will locate the person responsible for them and review expectations for supervision and conduct. If staff cannot locate the caregiver in the building, police will be called to assume responsibility for the child or vulnerable adult. If a child or vulnerable adult is left unattended when the library is closing, staff will contact police to assume responsibility for them. If a child or vulnerable adult is repeatedly left unattended by their caregiver, the caregiver may be issued a Notice of Suspension of Library Privileges, as outlined in the Library Conduct Policy. If a child or vulnerable adult is repeatedly in the library without a caregiver, staff may forgo calling a parent or guardian and immediately contact the police.