Children of ages 13 & under
The Marshall County Public Library System welcomes children to use its facilities and services. However, the responsibility for the care, safety and behavior of children using the library rests with the parent/guardian or caregiver. A caregiver must be at least 16 years of age. Library staff members have many duties and cannot supervise children nor act as a substitute for daycare.
Children through age 9 must have a parent or caregiver in the immediate vicinity unless they are participating in a library program. Parents or caregivers for those ages 5 & under who do not attend the program with the child should remain in the building. Parents are still responsible for the actions of their children.
Children of ages 10 - 13 may use the Library unattended for up to three (3) hours. It is important for staff to take note of disruptions caused by children who apparently are unaccompanied. Parents are still responsible for the actions of their children. Children using inappropriate behavior will be informed of the rules. If inappropriate behavior continues, the child shall be asked to leave the Library. If a child in this age group is unaccompanied by an adult or appropriate-aged caregiver, the staff will follow the directions below for children found on Library premises without a parent or caregiver. All children should have the telephone number of someone who can assist them in an emergency. The Library staff may not take responsibility for the care of any age child.
If a child is found without a parent or caregiver, the staff will:
- Attempt to comfort the child, if necessary.
- Locate the parent or caregiver in the Library and explain the Unattended Children Policy.
- Make every effort to contact the parent or caregiver who is not in the Library to come and pick up the child. Staff will express the Library's concern for the child's safety and explain the Unattended Children Policy.
- Call the appropriate Police or Sheriff Department to pick up the child, if the parent or caregiver cannot be located within 30 minutes. Staff will notify Director that police have been called. @ Benton will call the Benton City Police Department (270-527-3126); @ Calvert City will call the Calvert City Police Department (270-395-4545); @ Hardin will call the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department (270-527-3112).
- Encourage an unattended child to contact the parent or guardian if it is within 15 minutes of closing time. If a parent or caregiver cannot be reached or does not arrive within 15 minutes of closing, Library Staff will call the appropriate Police or Sheriff Department to pick up the child. Staff will notify Director that police have been called.
- Remain with the child until the parent or caregiver or police arrive. This is compensated time for the two staff members who remain with the child.
- Leave a note on the Library door stating "Unattended child is at the (appropriate Police or Sheriff Department & list address & phone #)" once the child is in the care of the police. Names will not be stated on the sign.
- Not transport any child from the Library to another location.
Approved by the Marshall County Public Library Board of Trustees on July 22, 2004.