Service to children is an important goal at the Carroll and Madison Library System. Children of all ages are welcomed and encouraged to use the library materials, programs and services. The Carroll and Madison Library System Libraries are public buildings and are open to all, regardless of origin, age, background and views.
Library staff strives to ensure that all buildings are operated in a safe manner. However, because the buildings are open to all, libraries cannot be considered safe places for unattended children.
The responsibility for the safety and behavior of children in the Library rests with the parents, legal guardians, or other responsible adult caregivers. Library staff is not responsible for the care and safety of unattended children in the library.
In order to maintain a safe atmosphere where reading and study are encouraged, the following policy has been adopted by the Carroll and Madison Library System Board of Trustees, the Carroll County Library Board and the Madison County Library Board:
- Children under the age of 10 must be accompanied continually by a parent, legal guardian, or responsible adult caregiver. A parent or responsible adult caregiver must remain with the children at all times.
- Unless a previous arrangement has been made between the parent or adult caregiver and the Library Director to leave a child at the library for a specific amount of time, if a child age under the age of 10 is found to be unaccompanied in the Library, staff will try to locate the parent, legal guardian, or responsible adult caregiver in the library or by telephone to remedy the situation. If a parent, legal guardian, or responsible adult caregiver cannot be located within 30 minutes, the Police, County Child Protective Services, or other appropriate government agency will be called.
- Children age 10 and older may use the Library without a parent or responsible adult caregiver present, but must be able to reach a parent, legal guardian, or responsible adult caregiver immediately, either in person or by phone. All children in the Library must follow the Guidelines for Library Use and are expected to use the Library appropriately. Children who do not follow these rules are subject to the same consequences as other library users, including being required to leave the Library or losing library privileges.
- If it is unsafe for a child to leave the building without an adult, that child should never be left unattended in the Library
THIS POLICY WILL BE POSTED IN EACH LIBRARY.