Unattended Children Policy


A. This policy refers to minors using the Charlestown-Clark County Library System.

B. The staff of the Charlestown-Clark County Public Library is concerned about the safety and well-being of all its library users.

1. All children are welcomed and encouraged to use the library collections.
2. Programs are created especially for children to encourage lifelong appreciation of books and other resources.

C. In all situations, the parent/guardian/caregiver that brings a minor child to the library property, whether indoors or outdoors is responsible for the care and safety of the child.

1. Library staff member cannot monitor the location and behavior of each child on the library property.
2. Library staff members cannot assume parental responsibilities for children who are in the library.
3. Library staff cannot monitor or control all behavior or whereabouts of people using the library and cannot assure the safety of an unattended child.

D. A child under the age of eight (8) years must be accompanied by a parent or adult caregiver at all times while in the library.

1. A parent/guardian/care giver may not leave the child unattended in the library or while attending a meeting.

E. Children ages eight (8) years and older may use the library unattended so long as they are engaged in activities associated with the use of a public library.

F. If a child has been left unattended at the library and wishes to return home on his or her own, a staff member will permit the child to telephone a parent/guardian.

G. The parent/guardian is responsible for arriving to transport the unaccompanied minor home by closing time.

1. The child will be given a chance to call home for a ride 10 minutes before the library closes.
2. A child left at the library for more than 10 minutes after closing is considered to be an abandoned child and the police department or Child Protective Services will be contacted.
3. At least two staff members will remain with and supervise the child. In the case of the smaller branches, if there are only one staff available, the library door will not be locked and the child with the staff member will stand at the door to await the parent/guardian or police.
4. A library staff member will not take an unaccompanied child outside of the library building, even at the request of the parent/guardian.
5. A library staff member will not transport an unaccompanied child to another location, even at the request of the parent/guardian.

H. If an unattended minor is injured at the library; a staff member will contact the parent/guardian and call 911 as needed.

1. If the parent/guardian cannot be located, the library staff member will contact the police to report the situation.

I. Disruptive behavior will not be tolerated.

1. If an unattended minor is asked to leave the library due to disruptive behavior, the parent/guardian will be contacted.
2. The child will telephone the parent/guardian to report that he/she has been asked to leave the library.
3. The parent/guardian will be contacted by a library staff member to report subsequent instances of disruptive behavior.
4. Repeated disruptive behavior may lead to a 6 month ban from the library. In the case of such a ban, a registered letter will be sent to the parent/guardian to notify him/her of this situation.

J. Disruptive behavior (police may be called in these cases) includes, but is not limited to:

1. Loud, abusive, aggressive, harassing or obscene language or behavior.
2. Defacing or damaging library materials, furniture, or other property.
3. Using or distributing illegal drugs.
4. Tampering with, altering, editing, or damaging computer hardware or software.