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Unattended Children and Disruptive Behavior

Policy Statement: The Irvington Public Library 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 18 years of age. Library staff members have many duties and cannot supervise children nor act as a substitute for daycare.

Parents or guardians may not leave their children or legal wards 8 years of age and younger unattended in the Children's Library at any time. Parents or guardians who supervise their children must be at least 18 years of age.

UNATTENDED CHILDREN

Unattended children are 8 years and younger unaccompanied by a caregiver 18 years or older at any time.

Child Left Unattended

1. If it is determined that a child is lost or left unattended in the Children's room, a staff member should first try to locate the child's parent or guardian in the Children's room. If the parent is not found take the child upstairs to the adult department and search for the parent.

2. Ask the child's name, address, phone number, and age. If for some reason the staff member is unable to leave the Children's Room, call the librarian in charge of the building and ask that the paging system be used to locate the parent. The matter should be reported to library administration if a parent is not located.

3. When the parent or guardian is located, explain the library policy on unattended children.

4. If the parent or guardian is not found in the building, and the child knows his or her phone number, that number should be called to reach the parent or guardian. If the child does not know the phone number, but knows his or her last name, a computer search and telephone directory search should be done to locate the contact information.

5. If the parent or guardian has not been located within one hour, or if the library is closing, the children's room staff member should ask the librarian in charge of the building to call the police. Both staff members should wait until the police arrive. Staff will notify the Director or Assistant Director that the police have been called. A designated person such as the security guard may also wait.

6. If the child is in care of the police, leave a note on the Library front door stating "Unattended child is in custody of the Irvington Police".

7. Under no circumstance is any staff member to take the child out of the building.

Disruptive Children Attended by Parents or Guardians

1. Children who are being disruptive will be asked by the children's room staff to behave.

2. If the disruptive behavior continues, the security staff on duty should be called to address the problem.

3. The security guard should report the matter to the parent if the child refuses to cooperate.

4. If the parent or guardian refuses, or is unable to control the child, the family will be asked to leave.

Disruptive Unattended Children

Unattended children are 8 years and younger unaccompanied by a caregiver 18 years or older at any time.

If a child is behaving in a disruptive manner:

1. The children's room staff will speak with the child to correct the behavior and that he/she will be asked to leave the building if he/she does not comply.

2. If the child refuses to correct the behavior, the security officer will be called to address the problem.

3. If the child refuses to comply with the request of the security guard, endangers the safety of himself or others, and refuses to leave the building, the police should then be called. The library director or assistant director should be informed that the police have been called.

Truancy Law:

In accordance with the New Jersey Truancy Laws, NJ Statues Titles 18A: 38-25. 18A: 38-26. No child(ren) is allowed in the Library while school is in session. It is the responsibility of the parent/s or guardian/s to notify the Librarian with evidence that a child(ren) is out of school.

Any unaccompanied student age 6-18 years old found in the Library while school is in session, between the hours of 9am to 2:45pm or as scheduled is subject to be picked up by the Irvington police unless he/she is accompanied by a parent/guardian according to the Irvington Public Library Policy and NJ Statues Title 18A: 38-31. In the instance that a student is over the age of 16 and enrolled in public school or equivalent education institution the above rule shall apply.

Information Privacy:

Under no circumstance should any information regarding any child(ren) be provided to parent/s or anyone on the phone. Information will only be provided in person to those persons who have verified that they are the parent or legal guardian.

Library staff members are not allowed to give messages to any child in the Library from any person/s who call to say they are the parent or guardian.

Telephone Use:

The Library telephone is for the exclusive use of Library staff members for Library business. Patrons in the Library are not allowed to make telephone calls or receive phone calls using Library telephone.

May 18, 2011
Library Board of Trustees

Updated and Approved by the Board of Trustees- September 2013