Unattended Children

Unattended Children Policy

The Wood County District Public Library welcomes and encourages children to visit the library, use library resources and services, and attend library programs. The responsibility for the safety and behavior of children in the library rests with the parent/caregiver and not with library personnel. Library staff cannot be responsible for children who are unattended or demonstrating inappropriate behavior. The library is not responsible if children leave library property.

For the purposes of this policy, "parent" is defined as: a custodial parent, a legal guardian, and/or another responsible caregiver such as a grandparent or a sibling aged 13 or over. Caregivers aged 13 or over should know they are the assigned caregiver. Children with a history of inappropriate behavior in the library must have their caregiver in the immediate vicinity at all times.

All children should carry emergency contact information at all times. If no contact information is available, or if the current incident warrants (as determined by staff), all issues will be referred to the police department.

1. Children from birth through age 7 must have a parent/caregiver in the immediate vicinity at all times.
2. Children ages 8 through 9 must have a parent/caregiver in the library building with them, though the assigned caregiver does not have to be in the immediate vicinity of the child.
3. Children ages 10 through 12 may use the library on their own; however, parents are still responsible for the actions of their children. Children using inappropriate behavior as outlined in the Conduct/Behavior Rules policy may be asked to leave the library. If a child of this age group is not able to leave the library without an adult, he/she should not be in the library without an adult.
4. Teen ages 13 through 17 are treated as adult users and must adhere to the rules outlined in the Conduct/Behavior Rules policy. However, they are still legally the responsibility of their parents and should have an emergency contact available.

Parents are responsible for the safety, behavior, and supervision of the children under their care at all times inside the library and on library property. Parents that fail to adequately supervise their children will be reminded of their responsibilities. Continued lack of supervision may result in being asked to leave the library and/or other actions as appropriate.

Children age 12 and under who do not have transportation home at closing time will be asked for phone numbers of people who can pick them up. If transportation is not available within 15 minutes of closing, the police will be consulted for assistance. Library employees are not permitted to transport children at any time.

Adopted by the Board of Trustees, April 19, 2016

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