Unattended Minor Policy
Dover Public Library
The Dover 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, legal guardian, or designated caregiver.The safety of children left alone in a library building is a serious concern of the Library staff. The Library is a public building, open to all. In order to create an environment of safety and maintain an atmosphere where reading and study can be encouraged, the following policy has been established.
The care and behavior of minor children visiting the Dover Public Library is the responsibility of the parent/guardian. While the Library welcomes minor children to enjoy the Library and library materials, staff cannot accept responsibility for the safety and supervision of children left in the building without a parent/guardian present. Preschool children are not permitted to be left unattended in any part of the Library.
Parents should be aware of the Library's hours and keep in mind that those hours may change due to holiday schedules, inclement weather, or other unforeseen emergencies. Parents must make contingency plans for the child's immediate pick-up due to unexpected closings. To avoid having your child become anxious or frightened, please inform him/her of your whereabouts and how to contact you in an emergency.
Teachers, daycare providers, or other youth leaders are responsible for any groups of children they may have in the Library.
When a situation develops that warrants the attention of a minor's parent/guardian (e.g. personal illness/injury; minor child left alone when the building closes) but that individual is not present, Library staff will attempt to contact the parent/guardian. (This will not necessarily be the case when a minor is asked to leave library property for violating the "Patron Code of Conduct Policy.") In the event that the parent or legal guardian cannot be contacted, the Dover Police Department will be called. Two staff members will wait with the child until law enforcement officers arrive. A note will be placed on the door notifying the parent, legal guardian, or designated caregiver that the child is in the care of the Dover Police Department.
Under no circumstances shall a Library staff member transport or take a child away from the Library building.
Adopted by the Dover Public Library
Board of Trustees
March 10, 2011