Families with young children and more independent young people using the library are the primary concern of this policy. Additionally, all users of the library are affected by each other’s behavior to some degree. The staff of the library helps carry out this policy in their interactions with the public.
Statement of Purpose
The library provides space and consideration for the needs of those interested in enjoying library materials and technology, quiet study, active enrichment, socializing and community meetings, and more. These considerations apply equally to young people, though the characteristics of how they make use of the library in these and other ways may differ from adults. Additionally, many young people are dependent on their caregivers and parents for guidance, support and supervision. In support of Article V. of the Library Bill of Rights concerning equitable use of the library for all, this policy lays out the special considerations that apply to young people while encouraging and enabling their access to the library. Included in these considerations are expectations for adults in attending to their children, standards and tolerances that library staff will extend in managing the library environment, and extensions of patience asked of everyone at the library.
Young people that come to the library may make use of all of the materials, services and resources that are provided. Parents and caregivers including babysitters will supervise during visits by those under the age of 11 and as needed; supervision here means being available to or actively involved in providing an enriching and enjoyable experience at the library while adhering to the library’s Code of Conduct.
Though all library users reasonably expect to enjoy the library with minimal disruption, children’s enjoyment of the library is often different than adults! Their abilities in focus and attention along with their natural faculty to learn through activity and play are to be readily accommodated and encouraged. Compared with typical adults, greater leeway will be afforded with respect to managing appropriate behavior, volume and activity of children. For children, part of learning and meeting the library’s Code of Conduct involves failure; it’s expected and reasonable that some will have trouble at times!
Library staff will allow parents or caregivers time to manage conduct that doesn’t meet expectations. The parents or caregivers of children that cannot, after a time, meet expectations may be offered help in refocusing attention and settling down or may be encouraged to use a separate part of the library away from the main areas of use. Given these considerations, those unable to better meet the Code of Conduct may be asked to return to the library when it may be easier for the child to meet expectations.
Children that can reasonably be assumed to be at the library with parental permission are expected to meet the Code of Conduct within the considerations noted above. Parents and caregivers are responsible for encouraging children in their use of the library and for helping them meet conduct expectations; staff may intervene to assist in this. Library staff are not responsible for acting in the place of a parent in any way. Library staff cannot be presumed to determine whether students at the library during school hours are truant, home schooled, or have parental permission to be excused from attendance.
If a child is expecting an adult for a ride from the library and the ride is significantly late or the child is otherwise unsupervised in a way that raises concern, library staff may request assistance from the Village of Cobleskill police. If a situation like this occurs at or near regular closing hours, two library staff members will wait for the ride with the child for up to 15 minutes after closing before contacting the Village of Cobleskill police for assistance. Staff will continue to wait with the child until the police or ride arrives.
The Library Director or a designee holds responsibility for providing documents related to the policy to concerned parties. The Library Director is responsible for training and supporting staff regarding this policy.
Approved Date: 11/10/2016
Reviewed by / on: