Unattended Children Policy
Revised: October 2009
STATEMENT: The Mancos Public Library welcomes children of all ages and encourages them to use its facilities and services. Library staff and administration are concerned with the welfare and safety of children while on library property but can not assume the role of parent or caregiver. Any public place may be dangerous for a child who is left unattended for long hours or who is left alone after closing time. For that reason the following guidelines have been developed and implemented to benefit children using library facilities and maintain a suitable environment for all library users.
POLICY: Parents, guardians or caregivers are responsible for the safety, behavior and supervision of their children at all times in the library and on library property. Staff members are committed to helping children find materials for school and recreational purposes; providing an environment that encourages study and exploration and plan programs that inform and enrich. To that end they will always respond with care and concern, but they can not assume responsibility for children’s safety and comfort when they are unattended.
CODE OF CONDUCT:
- Children will engage in polite behaviors using a “quiet” voice.
- Children will use appropriate language and show respect for other patrons using the library and not be disruptive (ie…running, throwing things, loud voices, swearing or inappropriate language, persistent loud conversations, tobacco use, leaving trash, eating or drinking by computers, are considered disruptive)
- Disruptive children will be asked by a staff member to correct their behavior. If that request is not met the child may be asked to leave.
Ages of children:
Children under the age of 8 must be accompanied by an adult or responsible person 14 years of age or older.
Children 8 to 12 are welcomed without chaperone but should not be left alone at the library for more than several hours.
Children 13-18 are considered young adults and deemed responsible to know and follow library rules and adhere to the Patron Code of Conduct.
While the two older groups of children are not normally expected to be chaperoned at all times, special legal obligations exist when the library closes and unattended children are present. The following policy statement applies to all three groups of children. If a child is left at the library after closing hours, Library staff will attempt to contact a parent or guardian. Staff will remain in the library for fifteen minutes after regular closing time should a minor child (under the age of 18) remain unattended. If we are unable to reach a parent or guardian, law enforcement will be contacted and staff will remain until the law enforcement official arrives. Under no circumstances will library staff transport or otherwise remove the child from the library premises.
Our Library is a safe and welcoming place for all. Staff is here to serve you and make your library experience as rich and rewarding as possible. It is our goal to instill a life long love of libraries and learning for everyone.