Unattended Children Policy

ELLSWORTH PUBLIC LIBRARY
Unattended Children Policy

The Ellsworth Public Library welcomes children and encourages children’s use of its facilities and services. However, the responsibility for the care, safety, and behavior of children using the Library property (both the building and grounds) rests solely with the parent/guardian or assigned adult caregiver. Parents or adult caregivers are responsible for being familiar with the Library’s Code of Conduct.

Library staff members have many duties and cannot supervise children or act as a substitute for daycare. Library staff cannot know if children are leaving the building or grounds with parents or strangers.

Children through age 5 must have a parent or caregiver in the immediate vicinity at all times.

Children 6 through 10 may use the Library unattended for an amount of time appropriate to their age and maturity as long as their behavior follows the Library’s Code of Conduct.

Staff will take note of disruptions caused by children who apparently are unaccompanied. Children using inappropriate behavior will be informed of what the appropriate behavior is. If inappropriate behavior continues, the parent or adult caregiver with the child will be told to remove her/him from the Library property. If a child is unaccompanied by an adult or adult caregiver, the staff will follow the directions below for children found on Library property without a parent or adult caregiver.

All children should have the telephone number of someone who can assist them in an emergency. The Library staff may not take responsibility for the care of any age child.

If a child from ages 0 through 10 years old is found without a parent or adult caregiver, the staff will:

• Attempt to comfort the child, if necessary.

• Locate the parent or adult caregiver in the Library and explain the Unattended Children Policy.

• Make every effort to contact the parent or adult caregiver if they are not in the Library and ask them to come and pick up the child immediately. Staff will express the Library’s concern for the child’s safety and explain the Unattended Children Policy.

• Call the Ellsworth Police Department to pick up the child if the parent or adult caregiver cannot be located within 30 minutes. Staff will notify the Director that the police have been called.

• Encourage any unattended child to contact a parent or adult caregiver if it is within 15 minutes before closing time. If a parent or adult caregiver cannot be reached or does not arrive within 15 minutes after closing time, Library staff will call the Ellsworth Police Department to pick up the child. Staff will notify the Director that police have been called.

• Remain with the child until the parent or adult caregiver or police arrive. This is compensated time for the two staff members who remain with the child.

• Leave a note on the Library’s State Street door stating “Unattended child is in the custody of the Ellsworth Police Department, 1 City Hall Plaza, 667-2168” once the child is in the care of the police. Names will not be stated on the sign.

• Staff will not transport any child from the Library to another location.

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.

Adopted by the Board of Trustees: February 17, 2009