Safe Child Policy
School has started and families are solidifying their school year schedules, including making plans for library visits. We are always delighted to have children in the library, as long as they are supervised appropriately. For the littlest ones, this means that a parent or caretaker must be actively attending to the child at all times. Here is our Safe Child Policy:
The Cook Memorial Public Library District is dedicated to providing a warm, welcoming, and safe environment for people of all ages. In order to accomplish this, the Library relies on parents and caregivers to monitor and supervise their children’s activities and whereabouts. Our library staff is here to serve the information needs of our patrons. Staff members have many duties to perform and cannot monitor the whereabouts of unsupervised children or be responsible for children who are demonstrating inappropriate behavior. Parents should not view the library as an alternative to day care or after-school programs. Parents, guardians and caregivers should be aware that the library is a public building open to all individuals. Parents or guardians, not the Library or its staff, are responsible for their children. The Board of Trustees has adopted this Safe Child Policy to minimize the safety risks to children in the library, and to help staff in dealing with disruptive or unattended children.
Article I General Guidelines for Children Using the Library
Children 6 & Under Must be accompanied and attended to at all times by a parent, guardian or other responsible person fourteen (14) years of age or older who is taking an active role in attending to the child. For children who are attending programs at which parent attendance is not required, the parent/caregiver must remain in the building and immediately join the child at the conclusion of the program.
Children 7-9 May use the library with a parent or guardian with them in the building. For children who are attending programs at which parent attendance is not required, the parent/caregiver must remain in the building.
Children 10-14 May use the library on their own. However, they are still legally the responsibility of their parents or guardians and must have an emergency contact available. If a child of this age group is not able to leave the library without an adult, the parent or guardian must be able to pick up the child if he/she is asked to leave.
Young People 15-17 Treated as adult users. However, they are still legally the responsibility of their parents and must have an emergency contact available.
Article II Unattended Children 9 Years or Younger During Library Hours When a child 9 years or younger appears to be lost or unattended, library staff will immediately try to locate the parents or responsible adult. If the parents or responsible adult cannot be located within 10 minutes, staff is authorized to call police.
Article III Unattended Children 14 years or Younger after Closing Time Staff is authorized to call police ten minutes after closing if unattended children fourteen (14) years of age and under are not picked up after the Library has closed.
Article IV Inappropriate Behavior
Disruptive children are subject to the same rules as adult patrons of the library which are detailed in the Use of the Library policy adopted by the Board of Library Trustees. Any staff member witnessing willfully disruptive behavior or responding to a complaint from another patron of such behavior is empowered to eject the patron or group of patrons causing the disruption for the rest of the day. Staff will allow children 14 years of age and under to remain in the library under staff supervision until a parent or responsible adult can be notified. Repeat instances of disruptive behaviour will result in loss of library privileges for a specific amount of time.