Policy on Unattended Children
Service to children is a very high priority of the Marion County Public Library. Children of all ages are welcomed and encouraged to use the Library’s materials, programs and services and every effort is made to create a pleasant, warm, and inviting atmosphere. However, the Library is an open, public building and the well-being and safety of young children left alone is a serious concern. Also, unattended children left alone for an extended period of time often become bored, restless, and disruptive thus disturbing the enjoyment of the library by others.
Parents and/or guardians who are utilizing the library be it to check out books or use the computer stations need to be aware that children under the age of eleven need to be accompanied at all times. Children under the age of eleven (11) MUST be supervised by individuals eighteen (18) or older. Please keep your child/ward near you at the computer and/or when perusing the shelves.
We, the staff and Board of Trustees of the Marion County Public Library, are not responsible for monitoring the activities and controlling the behavior of unattended children in the Library. Staff members will not assume responsibility for any child in the absence of an adult or assigned chaperone, even for a very short time. Under no circumstances will a staff member transport children home or to any other destination.
If an unattended child is being disruptive, is habitually left alone for long periods of time, or is deemed to be at risk of coming to harm (for example, no one to pick the child up at closing time), a reasonable effort will be made to locate the caregiver. However, if necessary, appropriate law enforcement or child protective authorities will be notified to take custody of the child.
We respect the privacy of all library patrons and will intervene only when, in our opinion, the safety and well-being of a child is threatened.