Unattended Child Policy

Children are welcome at the Bristol Public Library, and we are concerned about their safety. The parents or caregivers are responsible for the behavior and conduct of their children while they are at the library.

Children 11 years and younger must be accompanied and directly supervised at all times by a parent or other responsible person over the age of thirteen years. Children 12 and older may use the library unattended by an adult, subject to all library rules and policies concerning behavior, conduct, and demeanor.

In the case of a child being left at the library when the library is ready to close, the staff will make every effort to locate the parent, caregiver, or a friend to take them home. (Library staff will not transport children.) Two staff members will remain with the child for 15 minutes after closing, and then the police will be called. If the situation warrants, the parents will be contacted and reminded of the policy. Further action will be taken if the child is repeatedly left at the library at closing. This action may include but is not limited to, denied privileges or a call to the police department, who in turn are required to inform the Child Protection Agency.

Staff Responsibilities:
1. Ask the child for suggestions about where his/her parents might be. Call and talk with the parents. If parents are unavailable, have the child think of a relative or friend with whom he can stay or who will take him home.
2. Two staff members should stay with the child until the child is picked up.
3. Write an incident report explaining the situation and what was done.
4. File the report and talk with the director about the situation.
5. The director, if the situation warrants, will contact the parents.

Approved by the Bristol Public Library Board of Trustees on December 21, 2017.