Policy and Procedures for
Unattended Children on Library Premises
Young children left alone at the library often become frightened and anxious. Young children may be able to occupy their time for a short while but being children, soon become bored and restless, disturbing the work and study of others. It is not the library’s intention to seek out unattended children but rather to have a reasoned response prepared as problems present themselves. The following policy and procedures seek to address these concerns for the children in a responsible manner.
An UNATTENDED CHILD is any young person using the library facility unaccompanied by a responsible adult.
A VULNERABLE CHILD is any unattended child twelve years of age or younger whose safety or well-being would be endangered if he/she were sent out of the building. Examples of vulnerability might include the child being too young to be on his/her own, the child being sent out into an unsafe area, or being left alone in the dark outside the facility after business hours.
Procedures during business hours
- Library staff is not responsible for the supervision of children left unattended by their parents. Disruptive children will be required to leave after receiving a warning. Library staff may notify the appropriate authorities if they have a reason to suspect that there is significant evidence of abuse or neglect.
- An unattended child found frightened or crying in the building should be reassured by the staff and should try to identify and contact the parent or attending adult.
If a parent is in the building:
- Accompany the child through the library to seek the adult.
- Upon location of the parent or attending adult, reunite the child with the adult and explain the library policy regarding unattended children.
If the child is alone in the library:
Procedures after business hours
- With the child’s help attain the parents name and telephone number.
- Call the parent, inform him/her of the library policy and request that the parent pick up the child.
- If library staff cannot reach the parent or if the parent does not respond, the librarian on duty will call campus police.
If a child is alone at the library at closing time and appears to be vulnerable:
- Library staff will attempt to call a parent. If staff cannot reach an adult responsible in the first attempt, the librarian on duty will call campus police.
- The librarian on duty and a staff member will remain with the child inside the library until a parent or the campus police arrives.
- The library policy will be explained and a copy of the written policy will be given to the parent.
- UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES will library staff transport or take the child away from the library building.