Visits by Young Children to Library Policy Statement

The Athens Regional Library System encourages visits by young children to the children's area and it is our desire to make this important visit both memorable and enjoyable for the child. Library staff are not expected to assume responsibility for the care of unsupervised children in the library. Our primary concern is for the safety of children visiting the library.

Therefore, it is library policy that all children under the age of 10 must be accompanied by a responsible adult while in the library. If the child is attending a library program, we require the responsible adult to remain in the children's area throughout the program. All children are subject to library building rules and regulations.

One half hour before closing, library staff will check with all children appearing to be in the library alone to verify that they will be picked up before closing. At this time, children are allowed the use of the library telephone to contact parents to arrange transportation. If an adult cannot be contacted, and no one arrives to transport the child at closing time, the library security guard or a staff member will remain with the child until transportation arrives. Staff or security guard must use their own judgment and consideration of a number of factors to determine if any minor left after closing is a vulnerable child. In general, staff or security guard should stay with any child under twelve who is left after dark and with older children when necessary. If transportation has not arrived within 30 minutes, police non-emergency number will be called. Staff or security guard must wait with the child until authorities arrive. If parent/caregiver arrives before police, non-emergency police number should be called to cancel the request. Under no circumstances will library staff transport or take the child away from the library building. Complete an Incident Reporting Form and forward to the Administrative Assistant as listed on the form.

9/15/04