As a public library, one of our highest priorities is to foster a love of learning and reading in the young people of our community. Children are encouraged to use and enjoy the library, our collections, services, and programs. The Iola Public Library is also an open, public building where the well-being and safety of children left alone is a serious concern. Therefore, library personnel will not assume the responsibility for the care or supervision of unattended children.
- Library personnel do not provide care or supervision of children, except to the extent needed to uphold library rules of conduct and use, and do not accept responsibility for such care. Parents or other caregivers are responsible for their children and their behavior.
- Children under the age of seven may not be left unattended in the library and should be accompanied by their care provider (age 16 or older) at all times, including during programs.
- Children age seven and older may be left unattended provided their behavior follows the Code of Conduct for the library. Such children are subject to the same rules of conduct as other patrons and the same consequences, including being asked to leave the library. This possibility should be taken into account when deciding whether to leave a child unattended in the library.
- Children left unattended in the library in violation of this policy may be considered a child in need of care, and the matter referred to the police or Department of Children and Families.
- Parents and caregivers are responsible for ensuring that children under the age of 14 are not left at the library at closing time without a way home. Adults should check library hours if they are providing transportation for children left alone at the library.
- When children are left unattended at closing, at least two (2) library staff will wait with the child and assist them to contact a parent or care provider. Library staff will not drive children home. After 15 minutes, the police will be contacted to take custody of the child and a letter will be sent to the parent or legal guardian warning of the violation of library policy. A second incident will result in the library requiring that the child be accompanied by an adult during his or her library visits.
Revised by the library board 4-4-13; last reviewed 11-4-19; revised 8-2-2021