Unattended/Vulnerable Persons

Meinders Community Library Board Policy 406
Policy: Unattended/Vulnerable Persons Originally Adopted Next Review
Current Version Adopted November 1, 2017 6/2014  November 2021

Purpose: To provide for the safety of youth and vulnerable persons while addressing the needs of all patrons.

 Section 1: Definitions and General Understanding

For the purpose of this policy, the following definitions apply:

  • Unattended means that the individual responsible for the child is not on the premises, is not within sight of the child, or is not paying sufficient attention to the child’s needs.
  • Child/ren includes all minors or vulnerable persons that an individual is responsible for.
  • Parent includes parents, guardians or caregivers, including babysitters 12 years or older.

 Section 1: Parental Responsibility for Underage and Vulnerable Youth

  • Parents must accompany children age seven (7) or younger in the Library and may not leave them unattended in the facility or on the premises.
  • Parents are responsible for cleaning up after their children in all areas of the library, including the bathroom.
  • Parents are expected to accompany children to all areas of the Library.
  • Parents are responsible for the safety and behavior of their minor children persons at all times.

Section 2: Unattended Youth of Any Age or Ability

The Library is not equipped nor has a responsibility to act in loco parentis, overseeing the behavior and welfare of all children who use the facilities. As such, Library staff will not assume responsibility for the safety and security of unattended children, nor can Staff prevent a child from leaving the building or recognize who might be accompanying a child leaving the premises.

  • Any child who is considered disruptive or unsafe by the Library Staff will be asked by Staff to stop the behavior.
  • A second request by a librarian for the child to stop the disruptive behavior will be directed to the responsible parent, legal guardian or childcare provider to correct, and may include a phone call to a parent if necessary.
  • If a parent cannot be found, a child may still be asked to leave the building.
  • If a child needs to contact a parent or guardian for any reason, he or she may do so.
  • If a child of any age seems upset, scared, distressed or vulnerable, and a parent cannot be reached, Staff may contact law enforcement or child protective services.
  • Parents are encouraged to create plans and back up plans with their children, as they will be asked to leave the premises at closing time regardless of age and/or weather outside.