Unattended Children Policy

Policies


The Westborough Public Library provides current, high-demand, high-interest materials in a variety of formats for persons of all ages. The Library encourages children of all ages to visit with their parents to take advantage of the resources available for them to meet their informational, recreational and educational needs. The library has an obligation to provide for the general welfare of all persons using the library and also to prevent undue disruption of normal library activities.

It is the responsibility of parents to ensure the appropriate behavior of their children in the library, and library staff are not responsible for the supervision of children left unattended by their parents. Disruptive children will be required to leave after receiving one warning.

Children age 10 years or younger shall, at all times, be attended and adequately supervised by a responsible person, an adult or mature adolescent, and not library personnel. Parents should remain in the library building during preschool story hours. Children age 12 years and older may use the library unattended, subject to library rules and regulations.

The Westborough Public Library assumes no responsibility for children of any age left unattended at the library. Parents assume all liability for damage done by their children to the library facility, equipment and materials.


Procedures


During Business Hours:  An unattended child found frightened or crying in the building should be assured by the staff, and brought to the children’s librarian or person in charge. Staff should try to identify and contact the parent or attending adult.

If the parent is in the building, accompany the child through the library to seek the adult. Upon locating the attending adult, reunite the child with the adult and explain the library policy regarding unattended children.

If the child is alone in the library, with the child’s help, obtain the parent’s name and phone number. Call the parent. Inform him/her of the library’s policy and request the child be picked up. If library staff cannot reach the parents within an hour, or if the parent does not respond within that same hour, the librarian shall call the police and ask that they assume responsibility for the child.

After Business Hours:  If a child is alone at the library at closing and appears to be vulnerable, library staff will attempt to call a parent. If staff cannot reach a parent on the first attempt, the person in charge will call the police to assume responsibility for the child. A staff member will remain with the child inside the library entrance until a parent or police arrive. Library policy will be explained and a copy of the written policy will be given to the parent.

Under no circumstances will library staff transport or take a child away from the library building.