Unattended Child Policy and Procedures
The Montvale Public Library welcomes and encourages children to visit the Library, use library resources and services, and attend library programs. Staff members are available to help and support children; however, the Library is not able to provide short- or long-term child care, or be responsible for unattended children.
Children age 13 and under must be under the constant sight and supervision of a parent or responsible caregiver age 18 or older at all times, including within the children’s area. Such caregiver is responsible for the actions of all the children under their care during their time in the children’s area.
One half hour before closing time, staff* will approach all unattended youth (under the age of 17) who are in the Library to ascertain that they are aware of the Library’s closing time and that they have transportation home. Those needing rides may use one of the Library telephones to call home.
Parents/caregivers who are picking up their children are required to be in the Library no later than 10 minutes before closing time.
If a child is not picked up by closing time, the Reference Librarian or the Children’s Room employee will telephone the child’s parents/caregivers. No child under 17 years of age will be left alone outside the Library. Two Library staff members will wait with the child outside the Library until the parents/caregivers arrive.
If the child has not been picked up within 45 minutes after telephoning the parents/caregivers, the police will be telephoned for assistance. Should the child’s parents/caregivers arrive before the police, staff will contact dispatch with this information. Any time the police have been notified or if it is a repeat incident, an incident report will be filed by the staff involved; this report will be kept in the Director’s office.
Under no circumstances will a staff member drive a child home nor will the Library assume custodial responsibility for any child.
In the case of an emergency closing, as soon as the determination has been made for an early closing, any unattended child under 17 years of age will be asked to telephone the parents/caregivers and may use one of the Library’s telephones, if necessary. If the child has not been picked up by closing time, the same procedures for a normal closing will be followed.
*NOTE: “Staff,” as used in the first paragraph only, refers to the Reference Librarian on duty and to the Children’s Room employee on duty. Should there be no employee in the Children’s Room, the definition will include a library assistant on duty. Reference will check the adult areas; other staff, the Children’s Room.
Approved by Library Board of Trustees: 12/15/2011