Safe Child Policy
Children Alone in the Library: Guidelines for Parents & Staff
An important part of the Russell County Public Library’s vision is to promote reading for enjoyment and as an essential skill. So RCPL welcomes and encourages children’s use of the library.
However, the library is not a child-care facility. Staff can neither supervise children nor can they be responsible for unattended children. Patrons must remember that the library is a public building open to all so a child’s safety cannot be assured or assumed. Additionally, children alone can get bored, restless, or anxious. Differences in child development as well as emotional or social difficulty will affect whether a child may be expected to use the library without adult supervision.
In order to protect the child and provide a comfortable environment for all library patrons, the RCPL Board of Trustees has set the following guidelines:
• A parent or caregiver at least 16 years of age must attend pre-school aged children at all times.
• A parent or caregiver over the age of 12 should accompany children between the ages of 6 and 10.
• Children over the age of 10 may use the library if their maturity level is sufficient and their behavior is appropriate.
If a child comes to the attention of the staff due to disruptive or distracting behavior or due to any situation that has the potential to endanger the child, the staff will attempt to contact a parent or caregiver (in or outside the library.) If a caregiver cannot be contacted in a timely manner, the library will contact the police or sheriff’s department.
Children should be picked up before the library closes; they cannot be left unsupervised on library property after closing. If children are at the library at closing, the library will contact the police or sheriff’s department.
revised by the Library Board of Trustees September 16, 2003