Unattended Children and Young Patron Policies


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Unattended Children

The Morrill Public Library encourages visits by young children, and it is our desire to make this important visit both memorable and enjoyable for the child. Library staff is not expected to assume responsibility for the care of unsupervised children in the library. The library staff does not have the authority to take responsibility for children in the library.

Therefore, it is library policy that all children under the age of nine must be accompanied by a parent or designated responsible person while in the library. Also, if the young child is attending a library program, we require the parent/responsible person to remain in the library throughout the program. Responsible person is defined as someone who can take responsibility should an emergency arise who has the authority and responsibility to care for a child by the child’s parent or legal guardian.

If an unattended child is noticed, library staff will attempt to locate the parent/responsible person. If no such parent or caregiver can be reached within the hour or the library is closing, local authorities will be asked to intervene. Patrons who are in violation of this policy are subject to suspension of library privileges.

Staff will call the police and notify the supervising librarian immediately if he or she thinks the safety or wellbeing of any child in the library is in jeopardy.

 

Young Patrons Policy

Children over the age of nine may be left unattended providing their behavior is appropriate for the library and they are mature enough to stay alone. Should the child’s behavior become disruptive or cause disturbances for other library patrons, the child will be asked to leave. If the child is unable to go home alone, we will attempt to locate the child’s parents to come and get them. If we are unable to locate a parent, we will ask the local authorities for assistance.

Parents are responsible for teaching a child the proper behavior in a library. The library staff welcomes all those who acknowledge their responsibility to maintain an atmosphere conducive to the best use of the library and its services. If a child is causing a disturbance, the parent or caregiver will be asked to correct the problem. If the behavior continues, you may be asked to leave.

Examples of inappropriate behavior include, but are not limited to:

  • Eating/drinking in unacceptable areas of the library
  • Abusive or obscene language
  • Rowdiness
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Excessive chattiness
  • Quarreling
  • Loud talking
  • Loud speakers on computers
  • Vandalism
  • Running
  • Jumping
  • Aimless/restless roaming
  • Smoking
  • Disturbing other patrons
  • Fighting
  • Preventing other patron’s use of the facilities
  • Disruptive behavior outside the library on the steps or walkways

Be aware that when the library closes the doors are locked, lights are turned off, and no one is available to supervise the outside areas. Please arrange to pick up your child before closing time. If a child is still in the library at closing time and we are unable to locate the parents, for the safety of your child, the local authorities will be called to assist in locating a parent.