Abernathy Public Library

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Children Alone in the Library

Unattended and Disruptive Children Policy

Parents are responsible for the behavior of their children while they are in the Library. The Library staff does not serve as baby-sitters, teachers, or disciplinarians. 

  • Children under the age of 6 must be accompanied and directly supervised at all times by a parent or other responsible caregiver.

  • Children over the age of 6 may use the Library unattended by an adult, subject to other Library rules and policies concerning behavior, conduct, and demeanor.

 From time to time, the Abernathy Public Library schedules or provides programs that are designed and suitable for attendance by children without parental supervision. Such program announcements will so indicate, and if no indication is included, then supervision is required. When so indicated, if the parent or caregiver intends to be absent, they must leave word at the circulation desk as to their whereabouts and, if possible, a phone number where they or a responsible adult can be contacted.

 When the safety of an unattended child is in doubt, or the parent or responsible caregiver cannot be located, or if the Library is closing, library staff is authorized to call the police and stay with the child until the police arrive. Attempts will be made to reach parents, but in no instance will staff take young people home

 Disruptive behavior is any behavior on library premises that infringes on the rights of others using the library as referenced in the Patron Conduct Policy. Disruptive children will not be allowed to interfere with library service to others. Library staff will approach disruptive children in the following manner:

 Give a verbal warning to the child indicating that such behavior is disruptive to other library users and is unacceptable.

 If the disruptive behavior continues, approach the parent or guardian with the same warning. If the child is unattended, give the child a second warning.

 If the disruptive behavior still continues, request the parent or guardian to escort the child from the library premises. If the child is unattended, staff should use discretion in asking the child to leave taking into consideration the child's safety.

 If the child's disruptive behavior continues and he or she refuses to leave the library premises, library staff will call the police.

 Violations of this policy are grounds for suspension of library privileges. Whenever advisable, the Library will notify the parent of incidents involving an unattended or disruptive child.

Adopted 2005