Unattended Children Policy
The Jasper-Dubois County Contractual Public Library welcomes and encourages children to use the library's facilities and services. However, the happiness and safety of young children left alone at the library can be a serious concern. When young children are left unattended* for several hours when no library programs are being offered or when the library is closing, they become the vulnerable target of abuse by others as well as bored and/or disruptive. Library staff cannot know if children are leaving the building with parents or strangers. Therefore, for the protection and well being of all children who use and enjoy our library the following policy has been adopted.
- Young children under the age of eight (8) may not be left unattended in the library.
- Responsibility for the safety and behavior of ALL children using the library rests with the parent, guardian, or assigned mature and responsible chaperone (age 18 or over), not with library staff.
- If it is determined that a child is lost or unattended, staff will attempt to locate a parent, guardian, or chaperone in the building and explain the policy to them.
- If a parent, guardian, or chaperone is not found in the building, staff will attempt to locate them through library records, phone book, etc. When/If they are located by phone, they will be asked to join the child in the library or pick up the child immediately. The policy will be explained
- If a parent, guardian, or chaperone cannot be located within one hour, staff will call the police who will take custody of the child and also attempt to locate a parent, guardian, or chaperone.
- If the library is closing and a parent, guardian, or chaperone cannot be located within 30 minutes after closing time, staff will call the police who will take custody of the child and also attempt to locate a parent, guardian, or chaperone. Two staff members will stay with the child until a parent or the police arrive.
- In the event the child is placed with the police and the library is closed, a note to the parent will be left on the library door explaining the whereabouts of the child.
- Under no circumstances will a staff member take the child out of the building, transport the child in any manner, nor will the child be left alone outside the building after closing.
* For the purposes of this policy, unattended shall be defined as a child under the age of eight (8) left alone in any area of the library, unaccompanied by a parent, guardian or assigned chaperone (age 18 or over).
Approved by Library Board on October 3, 2001; revised April 2, 2003, revised October 1, 2009.