The Richards Memorial Library provides an array of services to children, as well as children’s collections. The library encourages frequent visits by children and their families. We wish to encourage the use of the library by all children and strive to create a warm and inviting atmosphere for young library patrons. However, library staff cannot provide child care or assume responsibility for children’s safety.
Staff may request that disruptive children be removed from the library if they have received a warning and do not comply with proper behavior. Should an unattended child exhibit disruptive behavior, library staff may call the parent or caregiver and request that the child be picked up. If the parents cannot be reached and the behavior continues, the librarian shall call the police and ask that they assume responsibility until the parent can be reached.
Children Under 10
Children under the age of 10 may not be left unattended by a parent, adult guardian or adult caregiver in any part of the library. If children under the age of 10 are found without an adult, staff will attempt to locate the parent or adult caregiver. At all times, parents/guardians/caregivers are asked to remain in the immediate vicinity of their children using the library and maintain eye contact.
Children 10-12 are welcome to use the library unattended but should not be left alone for an extended period of time. No public place, including the library, can guarantee the safety of children. Parents are responsible for their behavior. If a child becomes anxious or disruptive, the staff will attempt to find the adult parent or caregiver in the library. If they are not available, the staff will call the child’s home. It is the responsibility of the parent or caregiver to be accessible to pick up the child at any time.
Young Adults 13-17
Young adults are old enough to use the library responsibly. If problems arise, they may be asked to leave or parents may be contacted. It is the responsibility of the parent or caregiver to be accessible to pick up the child at any time.
Unattended Youth During Emergency Closings
The library may close in the event of emergency, inclement weather, power outages or other disruptive events. If Wachusett Regional District Schools close due to inclement weather the library will likely also close. No child may be sent to the library if schools close early due to emergencies.
Thirty minutes before closing the library on any normal day or in an emergency, an adult staff member will call the parent or caregiver to verify that the child will be picked up before closing. If a parent or caregiver cannot be reached after trying for 15 minutes, the police department will be asked if they can assist the staff in helping to get the child home safely.
Approved by the Richards Memorial Library Trustees in November of 2022