The Springfield Library Commission recognizes its obligation to consider the safety of children while in the library. The following policy statement is designed to address this concern for child welfare, and is not intended to restrict, discourage or frustrate appropriate use of the library. In order to create a safe environment, and maintain an atmosphere where study and play can be encouraged, the following policy has been created.
Children of all ages are welcome in the Library. Children’s areas of the Library are specifically designed to serve the needs of young visitors and staff members will place the safety of children first.
Children aged seven and under must be accompanied and adequately supervised by a parent, caregiver, or other responsible adult. Children eight and older may use the Library unattended, but are subject to the Library’s Behavior Policy. During the COVID-19 pandemic or other public health emergency, and in order to protect everyone’s health and safety, ages have been amended. During this time, children aged eleven and under must be accompanied and adequately supervised by a parent, caregiver, or other responsible adult. Children twelve and older may use the Library unattended, but are subject to the Library’s Behavior Policy. It is the responsibility of parents and caregivers to ensure appropriate behavior of children. 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 City Library assumes no responsibility for children of any age left unattended in the Library. 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.
Under no circumstances will library staff transport any child from the Library during or after business hours. Library staff cannot prevent children from interacting with or leaving with persons who are not the appropriate chaperone.
Library staff may call parents or caregivers, police, or other city agencies if a child is left unattended when the Library closes, asked to leave the Library, or in an emergency situation.
Approved by Springfield Library Commission February 16, 2005; revision approved June 5, 2019.
Amended by the Springfield Library Commission June 3, 2020.