Due to concern over the safety of all library users, especially that of children left alone in libraries, the East Cheyenne County Library District (ECCLD) Board has developed the following policy for unattended and disruptive youth.
It is the policy of ECCLD to provide a safe and appropriate environment for library users of all ages. The library is, however, a public building with staff trained to provide public library services. The library staff is not equipped, nor is it the library’s role, to serve as care-giver, teacher, or disciplinarian. Aside from the planned programs, services, and activities designed for specific age groups, the library staff is not responsible for supervising or tending to the needs of individual users or groups of users.
Accordingly, children under the age of eight must always be accompanied and directly supervised at all times by a parent or other responsible adult while in the library. If a child under the age of eight is attending a library program or activity, the parent/caregiver must remain in the library throughout the program. From time to time ECCLD schedules or provides programs that are designed and suitable for attendance by children without parental supervision. Such programs will so indicate and if no indication is included then supervision is required. If so indicated or if the parent/caregiver intends to be absent, they must leave word at the circulation desk as to their whereabouts and a telephone number where they can be reached. In general, for all-purpose library usage, a one (1) hour period of unattended time is considered sufficient for all minor library patrons, unless previous arrangements have been made with the library staff.
In general, the parent/caregiver of any minor children should not leave them unattended for long periods at the library. This is especially important in the evening. Children should be picked up no later than fifteen minutes before closing time. The Sheriff’s Department will be notified concerning any children left at the library after closing time. At any time, when the safety of an unattended child is in doubt, library staff is authorized to call the Sheriff’s Department and stay with the child until the officer arrives. IN NO CIRCUMSTANCE WILL STAFF TAKE YOUNG PEOPLE HOME.
Children over the age of eight may use the library unattended by an adult, subject to other library rules and policies concerning behavior, conduct, demeanor. Disruptive behavior is any behavior on library premises which infringes on the rights of others using and/or working in the library. Established library procedures will be used to control any disruptive behavior. Library staff is authorized to eject ANY minor child from the library at their discretion. The parent/caregiver are accountable for the behavior of their children in the library, whether or not the parent/caregiver are present.
Please refer to the “Parent-Library Partnership” for guidelines.