Children Unattended in the Library Policy

Library Board approved March 19, 2008.  Revised July 21, 2009.

Parents are responsible for the care and behavior of their children while they are in the Library. Violations of this policy are grounds for suspension of library privileges. The Oak Park Public Library staff is committed to help children with activities related to the Library.  However, Library staff cannot, nor is it their responsibility to serve as baby-sitters, teachers, or disciplinarians.

Children under the age of eight must be accompanied and directly supervised at all times by a parent or other responsible caregiver.  Unattended children under the age of eight may be asked to remain at the nearest Service Desk while staff attempt to locate the caregiver.  When the safety of an unattended child is in doubt or the parent or responsible caregiver cannot be located, or if the Library is closing, Library staff are authorized to call the police and stay with the child until the police arrive.

From time to time, the Oak Park Public Library schedules or provides programs that are designed and suitable for attendance by children without parental supervision. In that case, the parent or caregiver is expected to remain in proximity to the program in order that they are available should they be needed.

Children of the age of eight or over may use the Library unattended by an adult, subject to other Library rules and policies concerning behavior, conduct, and demeanor.

Unattended Children after hours

If an unattended child or children under the age of eight are present after closing at least two staff members or one staff member and a security guard shall remain with the children.  In the event a child under the age of eight is still at the library 15 minutes after the library closes to the public, the police will be called to pick up the young person. Attempts will be made during that 15 minutes to reach the parents.  Whenever the Librarian in Charge / Person in Charge feels that it is appropriate to follow this process with a child or children eight years old or older, they are authorized to do so.  However, in no instance will a staff member, volunteer, or a security guard transport a child or children or wait alone with the child or children.

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