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Unattended Children Policy

Purpose

It is a goal of the Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library to provide an inviting place for children to develop a love of reading, learning, and community. However, children left unattended in the Library are not safe.  In order to ensure the safety and well-being of our young patrons, the following policy has been adopted by the Board of Trustees to clarify for parents, children, and library staff, procedures and behavior guidelines:

  1. Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library welcomes children to use the Library’s services and encourages parents and caregivers to enjoy the Library with their child(ren).
  2. The responsibility for the safety and behavior of children visiting the Library rests with parents, guardians, or caregivers, not with Library staff.  
  3. Children under the age of 8 must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver.
  4. Caregivers must be 14 years or older.
  5. Library staff has been charged by the Board of Trustees with the responsibility to enforce this policy. Use of the Library may be denied for due cause.
  6. If a child is found unattended:
    1. Staff will attempt to return a lost or unattended child to the caregiver as promptly as possible. 
    2. If the caregiver cannot be physically located, a staff member will try to contact the parent/guardian by telephone.
    3. If the parent/guardian cannot be reached, or the safety of an unattended child is in doubt,  the Boothbay Harbor Police will be called. Staff will remain with the child until the parent or the police have arrived. 
    4. The Library Director or designee will contact the child’s parent/guardian to explain the Library’s policy.
  7. Under no circumstances will a staff member transport a child to another location. 
  8. Disruptive behavior is any behavior on library premises that infringes on the rights of others using the library.  In order to assure an environment conducive to lifelong learning, personal development, and mutual respect, disruptive children will not be allowed to interfere with library service to others.  Library staff will approach disruptive children with a verbal warning indicating the disruptive behavior.  If the behavior continues, the parent/guardian will be given a warning.  Persistent disregard for the expectation of appropriate behavior may result in the loss of library privileges.

Drafted: 3-17-16