Unattended Children Policy

Adopted: May 1995
Amended: December 20, 2006

The Baldwin Public Library staff desires that children who use our facilities experience a warm and inviting place. Many programs are offered to make the Library enticing to children, to help children enjoy their visits and to develop a love of books, reading and libraries. However, responsibility for children using the Library rests with their parents or guardians, not with Library personnel. The safety of children who are left alone at the Library is a matter of serious concern, especially since the Library is neither equipped nor licensed to serve as a day care facility.

The minimum age for a child to be allowed to stay in the Library unescorted is 10 years old. This is intended as a guideline for staff. The Board recognizes that some children’s behavior can be more mature at an earlier age and therefore expect the staff to use good judgment in adhering to the policy.

The Library staff will not be responsible for children who have been left without proper supervision by a responsible parent, guardian, or assigned chaperon. The Library unconditionally reserves the right to seek intervention of police and/or appropriate social service agencies in circumstances of emergency, illness, early Library closing, or when a child causes substantial disruption to Library operations and the quiet enjoyment of Library facilities. In case of need, Library staff will make a reasonable effort to ascertain the whereabouts of the parent or guardian. If the parent or guardian cannot be located, the police will be asked to take charge of the child or children. In no case will a child be left unattended by Library staff until such child has been given into the custody of the responsible party (i.e. parent, guardian, designated chaperon or police officer).