Service to children is a very high priority of the Gloucester City Library. Children of all ages are welcomed and encouraged to use the Library's materials, programs and services and every effort is made to have a pleasant, warm and inviting library building. At the same time, the Library is an open, public building and the safety of young children left alone is a serious concern. Unattended children, left alone for an extended period of time, may become restless or disruptive. Some, especially younger children, can become frightened or anxious.
For these reasons the following policy has been established.
Parents or adult caregivers are responsible for the care of their children using the Library's facilities. Library staff members cannot and do not assume responsibility for the care or supervision of children in the Library. The library does not assume responsibility for information children may acquire at the library that parents or caregivers may find inappropriate. Only parents/caregivers may determine what their child may not borrow, view, or listen to at the library.
Parents or guardian must stay with children ages 24-36 months attending library programs.
Children ages 7 and under must be accompanied by a caregiver at all times. The caregiver must be 13 years of age or older.
Children ages 5 and under may not use a personal computer unless accompanied by a caregiver. The caregiver must be 13 years of age or older.
If a child is improperly left alone during library hours, the following procedures will be followed:
Staff will try to locate the parent or caregiver in the Library and provide a copy of the Policy on Unattended Children in the Library.
Staff will call the Gloucester City Police to pick up the children if the parent or caregiver cannot be located within the Library.
A child under the age of 15 with no means of getting home when the Library closes is considered a stranded minor. Staff will encourage the child to contact the parent or guardian if it is within 15 minutes of closing time. If a parent or caregiver cannot be reached or does not arrive upon closing, the library will call the Gloucester City Police to pick up the children. Staff will remain with the child until the parent or guardian or police arrive.
Under no circumstances will the library staff provide transportation to a stranded minor or other patrons.
This policy supersedes all previous policies. Adopted by the Board of Trustees October 17, 2016.