The Calloway County Public Library welcomes children to use its facilities and services. However, the responsibility for the care, safety, and behavior of children using the library rests with the parent/guardian or caregiver. A caregiver must be at least 15 years of age. Library staff members have many duties and cannot supervise children nor act as a substitute for daycare.
Children through age nine must have a parent or caregiver in the immediate vicinity unless they are participating in a library program. Parents or caregivers for those ages six and under who do not attend the program with the child should remain in the building. Parents are still responsible for the actions of their children.
Children ages 10 - 13 may use the Library unattended for up to three hours. It is important for staff to take note of disruptions caused by children who are apparently unaccompanied. Parents are still responsible for the actions of their children.
Children using inappropriate behavior will be informed of the rules. If inappropriate behavior continues, the child shall be asked to leave the Library. If a child in this age group is unaccompanied by an adult or appropriate-aged caregiver, the staff will follow the directions below for children found on Library premises without a parent or 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 a child of any age.
If a child is found without a parent or caregiver, the staff will use the following procedure:
- Staff will attempt to comfort the child, if necessary.
- Staff will locate the parent or caregiver in the library and explain the Unattended Children Policy.
- Staff will make every effort to contact the parent or caregiver who is not in the library to pick up the child, and staff will express the library's concern for the child's safety and explain the Unattended Children Policy.
- Staff will call the appropriate Police or Sheriff Department to pick up the child.
- Staff will encourage an unattended child to contact their parent or guardian if it is within 30 minutes of closing time. If a parent or caregiver cannot be reached or does not arrive within 30 minutes of closing, library staff will call the appropriate Police or Sheriff Department to pick up the child. Staff will notify Director that police have been called.
- Two staff members will remain with the child until the parent or caregiver or police arrive. This is compensated time for the two staff members who remain with the child.
- Leave a note on the Library door stating “Unattended child is at the (appropriate Police or Sheriff Department)” once the child is in the care of the police. Names will not be stated on the sign.
- Staff members will not transport any child from the library to another location.
The Calloway County Public Library Board reserves the right to alter this policy without prior notice.