Introduction

The staff of the Springfield Library Department hope that children using the library will find it an inviting place to develop a love of books and reading, as well as a place to find materials which serve their informational, educational and recreational needs. Children are encouraged to visit the library, and to take advantage of its resources.

The Springfield Library Commission recognizes its obligation to consider the safety and welfare of children while they are in the library. Many children are capable of using the library on their own, and should not be discouraged from doing so. However, some children left alone become frightened or anxious, while others may exhibit behavior inappropriate to a library setting. The following policy statement and accompanying procedures are designed to address the Commissioners’ concern for the welfare of children, and are not intended to restrict, discourage or frustrate appropriate use of the library.

In order to create an environment of safety, and maintain an atmosphere where reading and study can be encouraged, the following policy has been created.

Policy Statement

Children of all ages are welcome in the library. However, it is the responsibility of parents to ensure their appropriate behavior. The Library staff is not responsible for the supervision of children left unattended by their parents or caregivers.

For the purposes of this policy, an unattended child refers to a child in the library alone, or a child whose parent or caregiver is in the library but is not adequately supervising that child. The latter situation may occur when the adult and child are in separate areas of the building, or when the adult is using library materials or equipment and is not supervising the child.

Children aged seven and under must be accompanied and adequately supervised by a parent, guardian, or other responsible adult.

Children eight and older may use the library unattended, but are subject to the rules and regulations in effect regarding behavior and conduct. Children determined by the staff to be disrupting normal library activities will be given one warning and then will be asked to leave if the behavior persists. The Springfield Library assumes no responsibility for children of any age left unattended in the library. Under no circumstances will library staff transport any child from the library during or after business hours.


Approved by Springfield Library Commission February 16, 2005