Unattended Children Policy
The Canton Public Library has a responsibility to provide an environment that is safe and comfortable for every patron who is appropriately using its services and facilities. In order to provide for the general safety of children using the library:
- Children aged 9 and younger must be accompanied and adequately supervised by a responsible person (e.g., an adult or mature adolescent). Children 10 and older may use the library when unaccompanied by a responsible adult, however, parents, guardians and caregivers should be aware that the library is a public building open to all individuals. Children left alone in the library or on library premises could be at risk of danger. Parents, guardians, and caregivers are referred to the Connecticut General Statutes 53-21a which describes the legal consequences that can result from leaving children under the age of 12 unattended in a public place.
- Preschool children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. During story times, adults are asked to remain in the building. Children age 2 and younger MUST be accompanied by adults in story time groups. For older preschool children, it is at the discretion of the librarian and the parent/guardian whether or not a child needs to be accompanied by an adult in story time.
- The library staff is not responsible for providing supervision and care for children. Staff will not monitor children leaving the library. If a child is not able to leave the library without an adult, the child should not be in the library without an adult. The library is not responsible for children outside the building who are socializing or awaiting transportation.
- Parents and guardians should be aware of library opening and closing times and make arrangements to transport children by closing time. Children still at the library 30 minutes prior to closing time will be directed to call their parent from the library telephone. If a child is left at the library after closing time or as the result of an emergency closing, the police will be called. Under no circumstances will a library staff member take a child out of the building or transport a child to another location.
- Parents and guardians are responsible for the conduct of their children while the children are on library premises. Unattended children are expected to respect library staff, library property and other library patrons. All children are expected to abide by the Canton Public Library patron behavior policy. Disruptive children may be asked to leave the library. In the case of younger children, caregivers may be asked to remove the child from the building until the problem is resolved. The judgment of the library staff prevails when requesting the removal of a child from the premises.
Approved by the Canton Library Board of Trustees 9/13/2006