Child Safety Policy
The Lincoln County Public Library wishes to provide an environment that is inviting, pleasant, and safe for all patrons. Children are encouraged to use and enjoy library facilities and services. While the library seeks to maintain a safe and secure environment, it must be recognized that this is a public building. Library staff members have many duties and cannot supervise children or act as a substitute for daycare for unattended children.
All library patrons, including children, are expected to maintain appropriate behavior, keep noise within levels which do not interfere with the activities of others, avoid actions which could cause injuries, damage property, or offend others. Parents/legal guardians are responsible for their children’s safety and behavior while in the Library or on Library property and will be held responsible for damage to Library property caused by their children.
Children using inappropriate behavior will be informed of the rules. If inappropriate behavior continues, the child shall be asked to leave the library. If a child (under the age of 12) is unaccompanied by an adult or appropriate-aged caregiver, the staff will follow the procedures for children found on Library premises without a parent or caregiver. All children should have the telephone number of someone who can assist them in an emergency. The Library staff may not take responsibility for the care of any age child.
Children aged three and under must be within visual contact of the accompanying responsible adult when in the library. Children under the age of seven must be attended and adequately supervised by a responsible adult or mature adolescent over the age of twelve. Older children may use the library unattended for an amount of time appropriate to their age and maturity.
“Unattended” means that the parent/care giver is not in the Library building with the child. If it is determined by Library staff that a child is left unattended, a staff person shall try to locate the parent/care giver following established procedures.
Unattended Children Procedure
Fifteen minutes before closing, staff members will remind young patrons of closing time, and allow children to call for transportation or to locate family members using the library telephone. At closing, if a child (or children) remains, a staff member will try to obtain the child’s name, age, phone or address, and reason for lack of transportation home. Two staff members, including the librarian in charge of the building, must remain after closing time to assist the young patron. Staff members or the child will try to contact a family member by phone. All attempts should be made to reach someone by phone.
If a child is found without a parent or caregiver, the staff will:
- Attempt to comfort the child, if necessary.
- Locate the parent or caregiver in the Library and explain the Child Safety Policy.
- Make an effort to contact the parent or caregiver who is not in the Library to come and pick up the child. Staff will express the Library’s concern for the child’s safety and explain the Child Safety Policy.
- Encourage an unattended child to contact the parent or guardian if it is within 15 minutes of closing time. If a parent or caregiver cannot be reached or does not arrive within 15 minutes of closing, Library Staff will call the Stanford or Lincoln County Police to pick up the child. Staff will notify Director that police have been called.
- Remain with the child until the parent or caregiver or police arrive. This is compensated time for the two staff members who remain with the child.
- Leave a note on the Library door stating “Unattended child is in the custody of the Stanford Police” once the child is in the care of the police. Names will not be stated on the note.
- Staff will not transport any child from the Library to another location.