Child Behavior and Safety Policy

The Seymour Public Library District welcomes children to use its facilities and services. The responsibility for the care, safety and behavior of children using the Library rests with the parent/guardian or caregiver. As with any patron, a child’s behavior is unacceptable if it disrupts the normal use of the Library by other patrons or interferes with the staff in the performance of their duties. Library staff are not responsible for supervising children. The Library is not a substitute for daycare.

This policy is intended to inform the public and to guide Library staff when they are confronted by children who are misbehaving or who are unattended. The Library recognizes that such circumstances may have widely varying facts and conditions, and this policy does not take the place of the exercise of sound judgment in addressing particular circumstances. In circumstances addressed by this policy, the Library staff will follow the guidance provided and will exercise sound judgment considering all relevant facts. Library staff will not physically prevent a child from leaving the Library, assume responsibility for a child or accompany an unrelated child off Library premises.

Children through age 7 must have a parent or caregiver present in the Library. Children ages 8 – 12 may use the Library unattended for an amount of time appropriate to their age and maturity provided that the Library staff has been informed of how to contact the child’s parent or caregiver.

Appropriate Behavior

Parents or caretakers are responsible for monitoring the behavior of their children in compliance with the Seymour Public Library District Rules of Conduct.   In particular the policy deems the following behavior unacceptable:

  • Loud conversation or noise which is disturbing to others.
  • Engaging in disorderly conduct, committing a nuisance, or unreasonably disturbing and offending library users.
  • Displaying other behaviors inappropriate in a public library setting.

Disruptive attended children 7 years of age or younger:

Library staff will inform the parent/caretaker that the child is disturbing others and will be asked to control child’s behavior.  If the parent/caretaker refuses or is unable to control the child, Library staff will ask the family to leave.

Disruptive unattended children 7 years of age and younger:

Library staff will ask the child to behave.  Refer to Child Left Unattended portion of this document and proceed as outlined.

Disruptive children 8 years of age or older:

Library staff will ask the child to behave and will give one verbal warning.

If, after 10 minutes, the disruptive behavior continues, the library staff will attempt to notify the child’s parents to pick up the child. If the parents are unable to be reached, the library staff will notify the Police Department to pick up the child.

Unattended Children

  1. Unattended children who appear to be lost or frightened will be comforted by a staff member. The staff member will try to identify and locate the parents/caretaker.
  2. The child will be asked if he knows which area of the library his parent/caretaker planned to visit.
  3. The child will be taken to that area. If the responsible person isn’t there the child will be escorted around the library until they are located.
  4. If not able to be located in the library building, a staff member will monitor the child until the parent/caretaker returns to the library.
  5. When located, the library policy on unattended children will be explained and a copy given to the parent/caretaker.
  6. Staff will record the parent’s/caretaker’s name, address, telephone number and the child’s name.
  7. Staff will refer any additional incidents to the police.

Unattended Children after Closing

Parents are responsible for being aware of the times the Library opens and closes.  If an unattended child of any age is in the Library within 15 minutes of closing time Library staff will:

  1. Library staff must exercise appropriate procedures to ensure the safety of unattended children 17 years of age and younger when the library is closing.
  2. Staff will attempt to contact the child’s parent or guardian and/or ask the child to do so.
  3. If no ride has arrived within 15 minutes after closing time the staff will call the Police Department.
    1. Staff will leave a note on the Library door stating “unattended child is in the custody of the Auburn Police Department” once the child is in the care of the police.
    1. Names will not be stated on the note.
  4. Once found, the parent/caretaker will be given a copy of the Unattended Children After Closing Policy.  Staff will record the parent’s/caretaker’s name, address, telephone number and the child’s name.
  5. Staff will refer any additional incidents to the police.
  6. Library staff members never give rides to these children or leave them alone in the building or on the library grounds.

Approved November 26, 2013