The Hennessey Public Library provides special programs for children and children's areas that provide enjoyable experiences for our young patrons. The library staff believes that young readers grow up to become adult patrons and wish to do everything possible to encourage youngsters to be regular visitors to the library. Library personnel take seriously their responsibility to provide safe access to the library. It is important that parents or guardians fulfill their responsibility for the individual child's safety and well-being.
Children must not be left unattended in the library. Child left on their own may endanger themselves or others. Library personnel will not tolerate disruptive or potentially dangerous behavior and will correct children who misbehave. Parents must work with library staff to provide a pleasant and safe environment for all patrons.
The following policy has been established to provide for the protection of Hennessey Library's youngest patrons.
I. UNATTENDED CHILDREN
POLICY STATEMENT: Children under the age of 9 may not be left unattended in the library. They must be accompanied by a person 12 years of age or older.
Parents of children attending library programs are encouraged to remain in the library. Children attending programs will be supervised by library personnel only during the time of the program and parents are responsible for picking up their children on time.
Groups meeting in the library are responsible for the actions of any children attending or attending with their parents/guardians.
l. When a child under the age of 9 is left unattended in the library, the following steps will be taken:
A. The staff member will attempt to locate or call the parent/guardian.
B. If no parent/guardian can be located within one hour, or if the library is closing, the staff member will notify the police.
C. Under no circumstances will a staff member take a child out of the building or transport a child to another location.
2. On school days, children over the age of 9 may be left unattended for no more than two hours, unless they are attending a scheduled library program.
II. UNATTENDED CHILDREN AT CLOSING TIME:
POLICY STATEMENT: Parents must pick up their children no later than 10 minutes before closing time.
1. One half-hour prior to the library's closing, the staff will urge all children to call their parents. If parents cannot be located by closing time, the police will be called to pick up the child.
2. If parents have been contacted and are coming, staff members are authorized to wait with the child up to fifteen minutes after closing time. After fifteen minutes, the police may be notified.
3. If the child has been picked up by the police, a staff member will post a note on the door advising the parent/guardian of the circumstances and stating where the parent/guardian can locate the child.
POLICY STATEMENT: Children will not be allowed to run, yell, fight, climb, use abusive language or engage in any other unacceptable behavior in the library or on the library grounds so far as it is possible for the staff to observe.
1. A staff member will advise the child to stop the behavior--once.
2. If disruptive behavior continues, a staff member will ask the child to leave the library.
A. The child may not return for the duration of that day.
B. Should the child require a parent/guardian for transportation, the staff member will allow the child to call for transportation.
3. A child igniting fire in any form will be reported to the police.