Children in the Library (Policy)

Parents of a library kid
You play an important role in helping to make your child's library visit a positive experience. In the best interest of all concerned, and for the safety of your child, we need to share with you a few of our policies.

Therefore we ask that . . .

  • Children ages 7 and younger must have a parent or caregiver in the immediate vicinity of and in eye contact with the child. The assigned caregiver must be responsible and must have emergency contact information regarding the child.
  • Children 8 and up may use the library unaccompanied by an adult. Library staff cannot assume responsibility for children's safety or behavior or their choice of library materials and online content.
  • Parents will be contacted if any child under the age of 7 is unaccompanied by an adult in any area of the Mount Horeb Public Library. As per the library's Unattended Children policy, the police will be contacted if we cannot locate the parents.
  • Children under the age of 16 who want to use the Internet must have a parent's or guardian's permission recorded on the child's library card. Children should present their library card when signing up to use the computer or gaming computers.
  • Please help your child to be considerate of all the people who use the library; some grownups still recall the library as a quiet place, please be respectful of this point of view.
  • If children are being disruptive to other patrons, library staff may ask them to leave for the day or sit quietly in the main Reading Room until their guardians arrive.
  • Please share the information on the kids' code of conduct with your child.

Approved by the Library Board, 5/2003; updated 1/2016
Updated and approved by the Library Board, 11/15/2018

From Code of Conduct

V. Unattended Children

A. "Unattended" means that the parent, legal guardian, or caregiver is not in close proximity to the child. Library staff cannot be expected to assume responsibility for the care or welfare of unsupervised children in the library. Parents, legal guardians or caregivers are responsible for their children's behavior while in the library.

B. Therefore, it is the policy of the library that all children seven (7) years of age and under must be in the company of a parent, guardian, or caregiver while in the library. Even if the young person is attending a program, it is required that the parent, guardian, or caregiver remain in the library and in proximity throughout the program.

C. If it is determined that a child is lost or left unattended, a staff member shall bring the child to the Youth Services Librarian or other staff member in charge. He/she will then attempt to identify and locate the parent/responsible person. If a parent, guardian, or caregiver cannot be located, then a report will be filed with the Mount Horeb Police Department.

VI. Specific Guidelines for Handling Unattended Children

A. The staff will make every effort to locate parent, guardian, or caregiver and will express their concern for the child's safety and explain the library's policy regarding Unattended Children.

B. At closing, library staff will wait up to 30 minutes with an unattended child, under 16 years of age, until the parent or caregiver arrive. Two staff members must be present with the child. (This is compensated staff time.) (In the event that two staff can not be present, staff is to call the Director/Assistant Director/another staff member who lives in town to locate additional staff coverage.) However, if the parents, legal guardians, or caregivers do not arrive within 30 minutes of closing, the child will be remanded into the care of the Mount Horeb Police Department.

C. Staff will call the Mount Horeb police and alert them to the situation: A child(ren) under the age of 16, is either waiting for a ride and/or the potential of an abandonment situation. Staff will wait until the police arrive to assess the situation. Staff will notify Director the police have been called. Staff will utilize the non-emergency police numbers: 437-5522 (day time); 437-5523 (after 5 p.m.)

Approved by the Library Board, 1/2016; updated 11/15/18

| 11.19.18 |