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1.0 Purpose

This policy sets age limits for young library users and explains the actions to be taken by library staff when children are left unattended.

2.0 Introduction

The Camas Public Library welcomes and encourages children to use its facilities, materials, programs and services. Parents and legal guardians are reminded, however, that libraries are open, public buildings. The well being and safety of young children left alone or unattended is a matter of concern.

Parents are reminded that they are responsible for supervising their children’s access to library materials. It will be assumed that children who visit the library unattended are authorized to use the full range of materials available to our customers.

3.0 Appropriate Behavior

Young children, and those older children with special needs, should be attended and adequately supervised by a parent, guardian or caregiver who is a responsible person of at least 12 years of age.

Older children may use the library unattended provided they, like adults, are able to maintain proper library behavior. Everyone who uses the library is subject to the posted Rules of Conduct.

Parents should be advised that children who misbehave or disturb others may be asked to leave the library, or the police may be contacted to assume responsibility for the child. Parents, even in their absence, are legally responsible for their child’s behavior.

4.0 Abandoned and Latchkey Situations

The library is not equipped—and it is not the library’s role—to provide short or long term child care.

Preschool children are not to be left alone in any areas of the library at any time. If a child is being disruptive, is habitually left unattended for long periods of time, or is deemed to be at risk of coming to harm, an effort will be made to locate the responsible parent, guardian, or caregiver.

If the responsible individual cannot be located in the building, or within 30 minutes at home, the child will be placed in the care of the Camas Police Department.

5.0 Children at Close of Business

If a child is found unattended at the end of the library’s business day, a senior staff member will attempt to call the child’s home. The senior staff member and another employee will wait for 15 minutes after closing for the child to be picked up. If attempts to contact the child’s parents or responsible person fail, or if the transportation does not arrive within the 15 minutes, the police will be called to assume responsibility for the child.

Adopted by the Camas Public Library Board of Trustees: December 2, 2004

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