Child Safety Policy
The Stowe Free Library welcomes children of all ages. The Board of Directors and the staff want the library to be a safe and secure place for all patrons, especially children. Our Child Safety Policy speaks to this concern.
- Children in third grade and under must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or other responsible adult during their entire stay in the library.
- Adult supervision is recommended for all children of elementary school age. However, children in fourth grade and up may be left unattended at the library to research an assignment, complete a homework task, attend a library program, use a computer, or to select books or other materials. Children, as well as adults, are expected to display appropriate behavior consistent with the Rules of Conduct Policy.
- Regardless of age, any individual or group of individuals who are disruptive to others may be asked to leave the premises. Because loitering in library hallways is prohibited, children may be asked to go outside. Although the library staff does their best to provide library services to children, they cannot know the whereabouts and/or supervise each child inside or outside the building. (During the school year, the library may see as many as 30 children in the building after school). Parents should bear this in mind before sending a child to the library without an adult. Children who are repeatedly unmindful of appropriate library behavior may have library privileges suspended for a period of time.
- Parents and caregivers should be aware of library hours. As in all town buildings, patrons will be asked to leave at closing time. If a parent/caregiver feels it is unsafe for a child to leave the building without adult supervision, he/she should make arrangements to have the child picked up well ahead of closing time.
- In the event that an unattended child has not been picked up before closing time, the staff will attempt to reach one or both of the parents or a guardian, if possible. If the staff cannot or is unable to reach a parent or guardian, it is the recommendation of Family Services Division of the state Department for Children and Families that the staff should contact the Stowe Police Department and request that the unattended child be picked up at the Library by an officer and held safely at the Police Department until a parent or guardian can be reached.
Parents and caregivers, not library staff, are responsible for the actions and safety of children visiting the library.
Approved by the Stowe Free Library Board of Trustees in September 2007; revised and approved September 2011. Ratified October 2015.
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