Unattended Children Policy

Behavior expectations for children grades 2 - Aged Eight and Under

Unattended and/or Disruptive Behavior of Children
Grade 2 - Aged Eight and Under

In the interest of providing a safe, comfortable environment, the library recognizes the need to address the problems of unattended and/or disruptive children. This policy is to be implemented when a child’s behavior demands attention. Parents or guardians are responsible for their child’s behavior while the child is in the library.

1. Preschoolers Attending Programs: Children attending preschool library programs should be delivered into the building by a parent/guardian or their designated caregiver who will be called the responsible person throughout the rest of this policy. The responsible person must remain in the building until the conclusion of the program or leave emergency instructions and cell phone numbers with the library staff and be back in the library prior to the conclusion of the program.

2. Responsible Party: Responsible party must be in at least age11/5th grade.

3. Children Grade 2/Age Eight and Under Not Attending Programs: Children 2nd grade and under not participating in a library program must be attended by a responsible person at all times when they are in the library.

4. Emergency Contacts: When responsible persons register children for Story Time programs, they will be asked to furnish emergency names and phone numbers.

5. Unattended Children: If it is determined that a child is lost or left unattended, a staff member will try to identify and locate the responsible person.

• Staff Procedure: The staff member will walk through the library with the child.
• Paging: The staff member will page the child’s responsible person using the child’s name, the responsible person’s name, or the child’s physical description.
• No Responsible Party: If the responsible person is not found in the building, a staff member will stay with the child until the parent can be located by searching the library’s records, phone book, etc. When the responsible person is located, he/she will be informed of the library policy and will be asked to either join the child at the library or to pick the child up immediately. If the responsible person is unable to come immediately, he/she will be told the child may stay this time, but that the police will be called at the next occurrence.
• Closing and Unattended: If the responsible person has not been located within an hour, or if the library is closing, the staff shall call the police who will assist in attempting to locate the responsible person.
• Emergency: Only in the event of an emergency shall a staff member take the child off of the library premises.

6. Attended Disruptive Children: –Definition: a child who is misbehaving or requires constant attention. (The description of misconduct in the library is provided in the “Conduct in the Nevada Public Library Patrons Grade 3/Aged 9 and Older” policy.)

• The staff will ask the child to correct the behavior.
• If the disruptive behavior continues, a staff member should inform the responsible person.
• If that person refuses or is unable to correct the behavior, the child and the responsible person will be asked to leave.

7. Unattended Disruptive Children:

• The staff will ask the child to correct the inappropriate behavior.
• If the child persists, he/she will be told to sit quietly at the table closest to the circulation desk.
• If the behavior continues, the staff will obtain the child’s and responsible person’s names and attempt to locate that person through the library records, phone books, etc. That person will be asked to pick up the child immediately.
• If the responsible person or designee can not be contacted within a reasonable amount of time, the police department will be called.
• If the child leaves the building, the responsible person will be notified by phone if possible or by mail as to the problem, date, and measures taken.

8. Exceptions to the above may be authorized by the library director or designee.

9. Documentation: Any action taken by a staff member responding to incidents of unattended or disruptive children will be documented using the attached form. It will be signed by the staff person involved and by any other staff member as appropriate and will be referred to the director and kept on file.

10. Appeal process:

• Any patron wishing to appeal a library staff decision on unattended children and/or disruptive behavior in the library may do so within 5 days by writing the Library Board of Trustees.
• The Nevada Board of Trustees will meet with the patron or patrons at their next regular Board meeting.
• Decision will be rendered within 5 working days following said meeting. Such decisions will be final.

Approved by Board of Trustees 9/19/2016

This resource is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by State Library of Iowa.