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Unattended Children
or Vulnerable Persons

LaFayette Public Library Safe Child Policy/Vulnerable Persons Policy

 

LaFayette Public Library welcomes children of all ages. However, the Library cannot provide constant supervision of unattended children as the Library is not a substitute for after-school or daycare programs.

 

General

 

The responsibility for the safety and behavior of all patrons requiring supervision in the library rests with the parent, guardian, or caregiver and not with the library staff. It is the parent, guardian, or caregiver’s responsibility to ensure that their behavior is appropriate based on the individual library’s Patron Code of Conduct. Library staff have many duties to perform and cannot provide supervision. Library staff are not allowed to physically prevent patrons from leaving the library, assume responsibility for them, or accompany them off library premises.

 

Children under the age of 9 years old, or any person who requires direct supervision and/or assistance, may not be left unattended in the library and must be with a parent, guardian, caregiver or a babysitter at least 13 years of age at all times.

 

If a child under age 9, or any person who requires direct supervision and/or assistance, is left alone, library staff will make every effort to locate a parent, guardian, or caregiver. If staff is unable to locate the parent, guardian, or caregiver in the Library, staff will make a concerted effort to contact the parent, guardian or caregiver to pick up the child. If no one can be reached, library staff will call the Onondaga County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) to escort the child home.

 

The library will call OCSD for unattended children of any age, or any person who requires direct supervision and/or assistance, who may be distressed or disruptive or in danger.

 

Closing Time

Children between the ages of nine and twelve should not be left unattended at closing time.  Parents or care providers must confirm library open hours before dropping off a child at any Library.  Unexpected circumstances or adverse weather conditions may cause the library to close early. All unaccompanied children, or persons requiring supervision, should have the telephone number of someone who can help them in an emergency.

 

As closing time approaches staff will observe if there are any unattended children in the Library. As necessary, they will speak to the child(ren) and ask if they know what time the library closes, if someone is picking them up, and/or if they need to call home to remind the person who is picking them up.

 

If the library closes and no one has shown up for the child, STAFF WILL NOT LEAVE THEM ALONE. They will contact OCSD to pick up the child. At least two staff members will remain with the child until OCSD arrives.  If only one staff member is present, they will contact a Library Board member to come to the Library, to be the second person.

 

Under NO circumstances will a staff member or Board member drive or accompany a child home.

 

Once the child is in the protective care of the OCSD, a note will be posted on the Library entrance with the following information: “Unattended child is in the care of the Onondaga County Sheriffs Department."  Neither the name of the child nor the name of the parent, guardian, or caregiver will be listed on the note.

Approved by the LaFayette Public Library Board of Trustees  9/20/2023

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