Children's Policy

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Grand County Public Library Children’s Policy

The Grand County Public Library has an obligation to its patrons to maintain an atmosphere conducive to reading, study, research, and the pursuit of life-long learning opportunities. Library patrons are expected to use the Library, including its facilities, grounds, resources and materials, in a responsible, appropriate, and courteous manner.  This obligation includes young patrons and families with young children.

This Children’s Policy exists for the comfort and protection of all. It will be courteously and firmly enforced by Library staff. Behavior becomes unacceptable when it infringes on the rights of others to utilize library services and facilities, when it could result in injury to oneself or others, or when it could result in loss or damage to patron or Library property. Families and children are always welcome and encouraged to use the library. A child aged seven and under must have a parent or caregiver within sight. A caregiver must be at least 12 years of age and be able to monitor the child’s behavior and ensure compliance with library policy on behavior. 

If a child age seven or under is unattended at the library, the children’s room staff will make a reasonable attempt to notify a parent/legal guardian and inform him/her of library policy.  When the parent/legal guardian is located, s/he will be informed of the library policy and asked to either join the child at the library or to pick the child up immediately.  If a parent/legal guardian cannot be reached or does not arrange for supervision, the Department of Child and Family Services or local law enforcement may be notified.  The Department of Child and Family Services or local law enforcement will be provided with a copy of this policy to give to the parent/legal guardian.

Children age eight and older may use the library on their own.  However, parents/legal guardians are still responsible for the actions and well-being of their child(ren).  Children exhibiting inappropriate behavior may be asked to leave the library.  If a child in this age group is not able to leave the library without an adult, he/she should not be in the library alone. 

Should it be determined that a child has been left at the library without a ride or assistance home at closing time, staff will attempt to contact an adult or family member.  Staff is not permitted to remain after hours with an unattended child nor give him/her a ride home.  If an adult or family member cannot be reached, local law enforcement may be called to escort the child home or keep the child until parents/legal guardian can be reached. Two staff members will remain with the child until law enforcement has arrived. The Head of Children/Teen Services will be informed whenever this action becomes necessary.  The Head of Children/Teen Services will contact the child’s parent or guardian to explain the library policy and why the action was required.

If the library staff determines that a child’s behavior is in violation of the Library Code of Conduct, they will notify Children’s Room staff.  Children’s Room staff will ask the child to stop the behavior.  If behavior is dangerous, destructive, or criminal, library staff will immediately call dispatch and request law enforcement. Children’s Room staff may also request assistance from other staff so that order is maintained. When altercations occur between juveniles, parents/guardians will also be called.

A Progressive Discipline Plan is included to insure that children are consistently held to a standard of behavior and given consistent consequences and most importantly, that the library remains a pleasant place for all the patrons.  A child may be asked to leave the library for the day when s/he exhibits inappropriate behavior as defined below:

Instances of inappropriate behavior may include, but are not limited to, using profanity, loud voices, bullying/teasing, lying to staff, physical contact with another child, and/or interfering with another child’s turn on the computer.  Staff may remind a child a maximum of three times.

Children who are asked to leave the library for the day will be required to sign an “Acceptable Behavior Contract” with the Children’s Room staff prior to being allowed in the library again. If the child violates the contract within a year following the first offense, they will be suspended from the library for two weeks and must meet with the Library Director or a representative appointed by the Library Director. If an additional violation occurs, the child will be suspended from the library for three months and a parent/guardian will be required to meet with the Library Director. Any subsequent violation within a year following the first offense will result in a six month suspension.

Last review / re-approval by Library Board on March 12, 2015.

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