Unattended Child Policy
The Hazen Memorial Library welcomes children of all ages to use and enjoy the facilities, collections and programs offered by the library. The library attempts to provide a safe environment for children to select books and other materials, and participate in library programs.
A growing concern is the number of young children left unattended in the library. The library is a public building available for the use of all residents of Massachusetts. Because it is a place where children gather, it may attract people whose interest in children is not entirely wholesome. The library staff is not responsible for the supervision of children but will intervene if aware of a problem. For the protection and well being of children who enjoy libraries, the following policy has been established:
- Children under the age of 10 should be continually attended by an adult caregiver.
- Minors who cannot follow the library rules will be asked to leave the library and will be required to return with a parent/guardian for a meeting with library staff and/or trustees prior to re-admittance to the library.
- The parent/guardian is responsible for insuring appropriate behavior of their children in the library. Disrespectful language, disruptive behavior, including shouting, running, pushing, or other rowdy, rambunctious activities will not be tolerated. We will ask disruptive children to leave the building in an orderly manner. In the case of unaccompanied minors, a parent/guardian will be called to collect them.
- Children should not bring food or beverages to be consumed in the library. The exception is when food is served as part of a children's room program or celebration.
- Children should dress appropriately in the library. In addition to basic clothing (top and bottom), shoes always should be worn.
- The computers in the children's room are not intended for use by children age five or under. It is the responsibility of a parent or caregiver to ensure appropriate use of the computers and other electronic resources by young children. Pounding on keyboards and other potentially damaging activities are not permitted. Young children accompanied by a parent may sign up for use of the children's room computers for educational and recreational purposes.
- Children and their adult caregivers should be aware of the opening and closing times of the library, and should not leave children before opening or after closing. Also, close attention must be paid to unexpected closings (storms, power outages, etc.) Prior arrangements and contingency plans for IMMEDIATE pickup should be discussed with the child. The library staff is not responsible for supervising children left alone when the library is closed. Library staff will call the Police to escort children who have been left in the building or outside the building after closing hours. Responsible adults will be called to pick up the child at the Police Station.