Unaccompanied Minors

Denison Public Library Unattended

Children Policy

 The staff of the Denison Public Library strives to create a warm, inviting, fun environment for children.  The library offers many programs and services to encourage children to develop a love of books, reading, and learning.  However, the safety and well-being of children at the library is of serious concern.  It is the intention of this policy to enlist the cooperation of parents and other adults responsible for children to ensure that the Denison Public Library provides a safe and pleasant experience for all who use it. 

Busy public access buildings are not always secure places for children to be left alone.  They may become frightened or anxious.  If they wonder through the building they may encounter hazards such as stairs, doors, furniture, or electrical equipment.  They may also become bored or restless and could disturb the enjoyment and work of others.  Parents should make sure that their children are sufficiently mature before allowing them to visit the library by themselves. 

The safety of children left alone in our library building is a serious concern of the library staff.  The responsibility for the safety and behavior of children in the library rests with the parent/caregiver and not with library personnel.  The library does not have sufficient staff to continually monitor children or act in the place of a parent.  Library employees cannot be responsible for children who are unattended or demonstrating inappropriate behavior.  Parents should also realize that even in their absence, they are legally responsible for their children’s behavior. The following guidelines will be followed concerning the care and behavior of young library users.

Children under the age of (10) must have a parent/caregiver in the immediate vicinity and in visual contact with the child.  An exception would be children attending a library program without a parent/caregiver in the room.  However, the parent/caregiver is expected to remain in the library building and immediately join the child at the end of the program. 

If a child in this age group is found unattended, library staff will attempt to locate the parent/caregiver in the library and inform them of the rules.  If a parent/caregiver cannot be found, or if the child is found unattended again, the police will be called for assistance. 

If a child in this age group behaves in an inappropriate manner the child and parent/caregiver will be given a warning by staff.  If the inappropriate behavior continues, the family may be asked to leave the library.

Children age (10) and older may use the library on their own except during regular school hours.  However, parents are still responsible for the actions and well-being of their child(ren).  In accordance with DPL’s Code of Conduct, customers, including children, using inappropriate behavior may be asked to leave the library.

 Home Schooled Students     In order to use the public library alone during school hours, school age children who are home schooled will be required to have a letter with them from the parent/guardian stating that the child is home schooled.  The letter must contain emergency contact information.  The parent/guardian will be called by staff to confirm the home school status.  The school system may also be contacted to confirm home school status.

Last updated: 06/2016