Unattended Children Policy

Preamble:

The Fort St. James Public Library welcomes and encourages children to enjoy the many resources and programs available in the library.

Policy:

Parents/caregivers are ultimately responsible for the safety and conduct of their children in the Fort St. James Public Library. The library is a public place and young children should not be left unattended. Unattended means that a parent or caregiver is not in the building with the child. Parents/caregivers should be aware that staff are not able to watch the children.

Parents and/or caregivers are expected to make arrangements for their children to be supervised and, when necessary, to have rides home when the library closes.

Procedure:

  1. The Library Board has established specific guidelines to be followed depending upon the age of the child:
    • Children under the age of nine must be accompanied by a responsible caregiver at all times, except where participating in programs which allow otherwise.
    • Caregivers of children must be 12 or older.
    • Children nine years of age and older may come into the library independently but should not be left unattended for more than one hour.
    • Unaccompanied older children are expected to follow the posted Library Code of Conduct.
  2. Parents and/or caregivers will be contacted by library staff if children are left unattended for more than one hour.
  3. If a child under the age of 12 is unattended when the library closes and library staff cannot locate a parent and/or caregiver, the library staff is directed to remain with the child until appropriate arrangements have been made for the police to take responsibility for the child.
    • The senior staff person on duty will contact the police if it becomes necessary.
    • The senior staff person on duty will fill out an incident report on the situation requiring the police callout.
  4. Under no circumstances should a staff member drive the child home or leave the child outside the library at closing.

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