The Audubon Regional Library welcomes all children to the Library and the Bookmobile, and is dedicated to providing a welcoming and safe environment for all of its users. Sharing this environment with other people requires that everyone follow the Library Patron Behavior Policy.
The Library does not stand in loco parentis, and its guidelines are:
Children in the library should always be accompanied by a parent/guardian or assigned caregiver. The safety of children left alone in a library building is a serious concern of the library staff. The responsibility for the safety and behavior of children in the library rests with the parent/caregiver and not with the library personnel. Library employees cannot be responsible for children who are unattended or demonstrating inappropriate behavior.
When children are left alone they may become frightened or anxious. If they wander through the building they may encounter hazards. They may also become bored and restless and could disturb the enjoyment and work of others.
The following guidelines will be followed concerning the care and behavior of young library users:
Children up to age 8 must have a parent/caregiver in the immediate vicinity of and in visual contact with the child. The assigned caregiver must be a responsible person and must carry emergency contact information. An exception would be children attending a library program without a parent/caregiver in the room. However, the parent/caregiver is expected to remain in the library building and immediately join the child at the end of the program.
If a child in this age group is found unattended, library staff will attempt to locate the parent/caregiver in the library and inform him/her of the rules. If the parent/caregiver cannot be found, or if the child is found unattended again, the police will be called for assistance.
If a child in this age group violates the Library’s Patron Behavior Policy, the child and the parent/caregiver will be informed of the rules. If deemed necessary by the staff, the child will be asked to leave for a week, or have their computer use restricted for a week. If inappropriate behavior continues, the family may be asked to leave the library, or the child will not be allowed to use the computers permanently.
Children age 8 and older may use the library on their own. However, parents are still responsible for the actions and the well being of their child(ren). Children using inappropriate behavior may be asked to leave the library. If a child in this age group is not able to leave the library without an adult, he/she should not be in the library alone. This is a particular concern in inclement weather and after dark. All children should have the telephone number of someone who can assist them in an emergency.
Teenagers are treated as adult users. However, they are still legally the responsibility of their parents and should have an emergency contact available.
Closing Time: Children who do not have transportation home prior to closing time will be asked for telephone numbers of people who can pick them up at the library. If transportation is not available at closing time, staff is instructed to follow library procedures. After a short wait (15 minutes) for a first occurrence and with subsequent experiences with the same family, the police will be called to deal with the situation. Staff is not allowed to take children home in their personal vehicles.
During school hours, children unaccompanied by an adult will not be allowed to use the Library.