UNATTENDED CHILDREN POLICY
Parents are responsible for the conduct of their minor children (under 18) in the library or on library grounds, regardless of whether or not they accompany the children.
Children are subject to the same rules of behavior as adults who come in the library building.
TheJefferson County Public Library welcomes children of all ages to use our materials and services. The library is a doorway through which lifelong learning takes place. The library is, however, a public building. As such, anyone can enter and leave without being noticed by library staff. A young child left alone in the building could possibly be persuaded to leave with a stranger. He or she could also become ill or disoriented while left unattended. The library staff cannot monitor the behavior, safety or whereabouts of people using the library and cannot provide daycare for unattended children. The library staff cannot assume responsibility for minors under 18, nor can the staff assume responsibility for children left at the library at closing time. If a child under 18 is not able to leave the library without an adult, then he/she should not be in the library without an adult. This is particularly true of inclement weather and after dark. All children should have the telephone number of someone who can assist them in an emergency.
AGES BIRTH TO AGE 8
Children from birth to age 8 must be at all times in the immediate presence of a parent or other responsible caretaker during their stay in the library.
The exception to this is story hour or other library-sponsored programs. Parents or caretakers should bring their children to the room before the program, remain in the library, and be at the door to pick them up when the program is done. Parents and caregivers are responsible for the behavior of their child in the library.
If a parent or caregiver expects to be busy in the library, attending a meeting, using a copier or computer, or selecting materials, he or she should leave the child at home or bring another adult caregiver with him or her. The child should not be left unattended or left in the care of another child.
AGES 9 TO 11
Children ages 9 to 11 years of age need not be in the immediate presence of a parent or caregiver as long as their behavior is not disruptive to other patrons or staff members.
The parent or caregiver must be somewhere in the library building.
This requirement may be waived, only with the prior knowledge and approval of the library staff. In some circumstances, a written waiver form the parents or guardian may be required.
AGES 12 TO 18
Children ages 12 to 18 are free to use the library unsupervised as long as their behavior is not disruptive to other patrons or staff members.
- Loud, abusive, agressive, harassing or obscene language or behavior.
- Defacing or damaging library materials, furniture, or other property.
- Using or distributing illegal drugs.
- Circumventing or attempting to circumvent the library security system.
- Tampering with, altering, editing, or damaging computer hardware or software.
- Using roller blades, roller skates, skate boards, or other sports equipment in the library or on library property.
- Entering unauthorized workspaces or office areas.
- Playing audio equipment so that others can hear it.
- Running through the aisles or blocking the aisles so that access to the library materials and services are prevented.
- Eating, drinking, or smoking in the building.
Parents are responsible for making sure that unaccompanied minors have a ride home at closing time.
A child remaining in the library at closing will be able to call home for a ride 15 minutes before the library closes. Parents should give us the names of at least two other responsible adults who could be contacted.
A child left here more than 15 minutes after closing is considered an “abandoned child” and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department will be contacted.
The county will then contact the Division of Family and Children with the Welfare Department.