Unattended Children and Disruptive Behavior

Unattended Children

Minors (anyone under the age of 18 years of age) in the library are the responsibility at all times of their parents/guardians/caregivers.

Children age 8 or under must be accompanied in the library. (Accompanied is defined as “within sight”.)
Children ages 9-12 must come to the library with a responsible adult or sibling, aged 16 or older, who must stay in the library while that child is there, but not necessarily within sight.

If a child/minor violates the library’s behavior policy, the child/minor and the parent/caregiver will be informed of the rules. If inappropriate behavior continues, the family may be asked to leave the library.

If a child 8 or under is found unattended, library staff will attempt to locate the parent/caregiver in the library and inform him/her of the rules. If the parent/caregiver cannot be found, the police will be called for assistance to either locate the child’s parent/caregiver or to take custody of the child.

Children and minors aged 9-18 using inappropriate behavior may be asked to leave the library. In the case of children aged 9-12, attempts will be made to find the responsible adult who brought them to the library. If this is not possible, authorities may need to be contacted if the child cannot safely get home.

Parents should not use the Library as an alternative to daycare. For safety’s sake, parents should make sure that their children are sufficiently mature before allowing them to visit the Library by themselves. Parents should also realize that, even in their absence, they are legally responsible for their children’s behavior.

The Library is not responsible for the care and supervision of unaccompanied children prior to opening or after closing. The Library is also not responsible for children outside the building who await transportation or who are socializing. Adults responsible for unattended school-age children using the Library should be aware of the Library’s hours and make arrangements to meet the children on time.

Teenagers are treated as adult patrons. However, they are still legally minors and should the need arise, the library will attempt to contact a parent, guardian or caregiver,

Disruptive Children

Disruptive Behavior is considered to be behavior that represents physical danger to the child or others, or behavior that interferes with other library users or staff. Disruptive behavior is behavior that is inappropriate in a library setting. Disruptive behavior that is unacceptable in the Library includes, but is not limited to:
• Running, chasing, horseplay
• Screaming, shouting, yelling, loud laughing or other noise
• Eating or drinking
• Smoking
• Abusive or excessive uses of the courtesy phone for calls other than to parents or guardians
• Abnormal, erratic behavior that hinders normal library use
• Continued or frequent loud talking in study areas
• Pushing, hitting, fighting, biting
• Throwing books or other objects
• Prolonged crying or temper tantrums
• Bullying or bothering other people
• Jumping on furniture
• Dangerous use of toys

Library staff will approach disruptive children in the following manner:

Give a verbal warning to the child indicating that such behavior is disruptive to other library users and is unacceptable.

If the disruptive behavior continues, approach the parent or guardian with the same warning. If the child is unattended, give the child a second warning.

If the disruptive behavior continues, request the parent or guardian to escort the child from the library premises. Unattended disruptive children, older than 8 years may be asked to leave the library after one warning. In such instances, parents will be contacted or, if the parent/caregiver is unavailable, police assistance will be utilized.

Approved 2.10.2016