Lyons Township District Library

LTDL Unattended Children Policy

Unattended Children Policy

(Approved 9/12/13)

Lyons Township District Library welcomes children and strives to provide a safe, stimulating environment for their educational and cultural needs. The goal of the staff and trustees is to insure that children feel secure and enjoy visiting the library, without interfering with other patrons’ use of library services and facilities.

Lyons Township District Library, however, is not responsible for the welfare, or the whereabouts, of children who are left unattended in the library. The responsibility for the safety and behavior of children rests with parents/guardians/caregivers, who are strongly urged to accompany children, especially younger children, on their visits to the library. The library does not perform daycare or babysitting duties, nor is it licensed to do so. Staff is engaged entirely in circulation, information, and other library service duties.

Parents/guardians are reminded that numerous unexpected events may occur if children are here unattended. A child could wander out of the library on his/her own, be approached and/or harmed by untrustworthy people who sometimes frequent public buildings, or be physically injured. The child could be asked to leave if in violation of library rules and policies (refer to Rules of Behavior, Unruly Patrons Policy, Internet Access Policy.) A child could be stranded at closing time or during an emergency closing. We advise that all children have an emergency contact telephone number with them at all times. However, if no parent or responsible adult is available or reachable by telephone, police assistance will be requested for the safety of the child.

The library issues the following guidelines concerning the safety and behavior of children:

·         Younger or unruly children shall be accompanied by an older, responsible caregiver. The responsible caregiver shall remain in the immediate vicinity of the child at all times and closely monitor the child’s behavior.

·         Older, conscientious children may use the library independently provided they follow the library’s policies set for all patrons and are not disruptive to other library users or staff. Parents/guardians remain responsible for the actions of their minor children.

·         Additionally, the library advises parents/guardians/caregivers to accompany children of any age who have emotional, mental, or physical concerns which render supervision necessary. The library staff will assist and accommodate those with special needs as much as it is able, but library staff cannot assist them to the degree that those familiar with their needs are able to do.

Library staff maintains a record of all policy infractions at the library, including those involving unattended children. Policy infractions are subject to progressive disciplinary action up to and including suspension from the library building and grounds. Parents/guardians are notified should suspension be issued.