Unattended Children's Policy

Unattended Children Policy

Adopted 2007

The Preble County District Library wants children to use its facilities and services.


The safety of children left alone in a library building is a serious concern of the library staff. The responsibility for the safety and behavior of children in the library rests with the parent/caregiver and not with the library personnel. Library staff members have many duties and cannot supervise children nor act as a substitute for daycare. Library employees cannot be responsible for children who are unattended or demonstrating inappropriate behavior.


The library expects the adult to set reasonable time limits for their children's library visits. When young children are left alone, they may become frightened or anxious. If they wander through the building they may encounter hazards such as stairs, doors, furniture or electrical equipment. They may also become bored and restless and could disturb the enjoyment and work of others.

 


Children shall be considered "attended" as long as they are within sight of the parent or responsible person. An exception would be children attending a story time or other library program without a parent/responsible person in the room. However, the parent/responsible person must remain in the library building and immediately join the child at the end of the program.

Children 8 years or younger should always be accompanied by a parent and/or responsible person in the library. If a child 8 years or younger is found unattended, library staff will attempt to locate the parent/caregiver in the library and inform him/her of the rules. If the parent/caregiver cannot be found, or if the child is found unattended again, the police will be called for assistance.

Teenagers are treated as adult users. However, they are still legally the responsibility of their parents.

Closing Time: If a child is left unattended in the Library at closing, the staff will attempt to locate his/her parents/caregiver. The Library staff will contact law enforcement personnel if staff is unable to reach parents or other caregivers by telephone. Staff will fill out an incident report. Staff will not leave a child outside to wait for a ride nor drive children home.

The Library Code of Conduct applies to all patrons. When a child violates the Code of Conduct, both the child and the parent/caregiver will be informed of the rules. If inappropriate behavior continues, the child and attending adult/caregiver may be asked to leave the library.

Repeat offenders of the Library's Unattended Children Policy will be sent a letter informing them future violations of the Library's policy will necessitate contacting the Department of Children Services.

 


Computer and Internet Use Policy

Revised 2008

The Preble County District Library provides free public access to the Internet, a medium that offers a variety of educational, recreational, and cultural information for Library users. Because the Internet is a vast, unregulated medium, the Library cannot control, and is not responsible for, the content or accuracy of information accessed over the Internet, including information contained in electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of electronic communication.

The Library uses filtering software to block access to some Internet sites. Since no filtering system is completely effective or efficient, further restriction of a minor’s access to the Internet is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian. To be in compliance with federal law (the Children’s Internet Protection Act), adults (age 17 or older) may bypass the filter by requesting that a Library staff member override the filter at selected Library computer stations. Users in all areas of Library locations may not use Internet sessions in a manner that is deliberately offensive or creates a hostile or intimidating environment According to the CIPA, this includes obscene, pornographic, or excessively violent graphics. As with other library materials, it is the parent/caregiver who assumes responsibility for supervising a minor’s internet use.

To address issues of safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of electronic communication, parents and legal guardians should urge minors to follow basic safety guidelines: never give out personal information (name, address, phone number, etc.), never arrange via a computer to meet someone and never respond to messages that are threatening or suggestive, remembering that people online may not be who they say they are.

While accessing the Internet at the Library, users must comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws. Users may not attempt in any way to alter, damage, or sabotage computer hardware or software (practices known as hacking) and will be financially responsible for any malicious damage to hardware or software. The Library is not liable for any damage to a customer’s storage device (disk, flash drive, CD) or computer that may occur from use of the Internet at the Library; nor is the Library responsible for any liability that may occur as a result of the disclosure of financial or other personal information while accessing the Internet at the Library.

The Library does not release information on the use of the Internet by Library users except as required by law.

The Library may limit the amount of time of individual user sessions on the Internet and charges a fee for printing from the Internet.

Failure to comply with this policy may result in loss of access. Illegal acts may be subject to prosecution by local, state, or federal authorities.