Unattended Child Policy

Children are a most important resource and deserve love, attention, supervision, and positive interaction. Part of the mission of the library is to address the educational, cultural and recreational needs of our citizens best served through local library collections and services.

It is not within the scope of the library to provide babysitting or childcare. Supervision of all library users is provided only to the degree of enforcing the Library's Code of Conduct in order that the rights of others to enjoy an orderly environment may be protected. Library staff will not assume responsibility for the care and safety of children in the library , other than to enforce the rules of conduct.

Children under the age of 10 must have a responsible caregiver age 16 or older with the children providing responsible supervision to see that the children adhere to the library's code of conduct. The caregiver is to remain within sight and conversation distance of the children.

For children 10 and older not accompanied by an adult, we expect parents/caregivers to follow all points in ""The Parent-Library Partnership"" statement. In return, the library seeks to provide informational sources for homework, personal enjoyment and enrichment for all children. No children should be in the library who are instructed to use the library as a shelter by parents or guardians who are unable or unwilling to pay to provide alternative care for them.

Children whose conduct is disruptive to library operations and other users' enjoyment and use of the library may have their privilege of using the library restricted or denied to the extent necessary to deal with the problem. Children may be asked to leave the library for the day. Further failure to observe this code will be grounds for denial of library privileges for longer periods of time If necessary, the police can be called when juveniles' behavior is hostile or refuse to leave the library after being asked to do so.

Parents are expected to limit visits to a reasonable number and length of time. However, if visits are so frequent and lengthy that the child is unable to enjoy a productive time and, in the staff's opinion, contributes to behavior out of line with the Code of Conduct, staff will contact the parent/caregiver in the best interests of the child. In such cases, staff often find they are thrust into a frequent role of caretaker and disciplinarian even for a child age 10 or older. Staff are authorized to notify legal caregivers verbally or by letter. Disregard of such contact may result in a child being denied entrance into the library until the caregiver responds favorably to attempts to communicate.

Adopted April 19, 2000
Pender County Library Board

The Parent - Library Partnership
We expect parents to understand and to explain the library rules to their children. The rules and policies have been developed to safeguard the collection and to ensure fairness to all library users.
We expect all children under the age of 10 to be accompanied by an adult of a responsible sitter while visiting the library.
We expect all children and teens to use appropriate language and behavior in the library. Those who do not will be asked to leave.
We expect parents to set reasonable time limits for their children's library visits.
We expect sick children to remain at home and not to be brought into the library, especially during children's programming when illness may easily be spread to other children.
We expect parents to help their children arrive on time for programs. Children often feel embarrassed to arrive late. Your child will be assured of receiving the most value from the program when there are no outside distractions.
We expect parents to let us know if they or their children are unable to find the type of materials they seek. We welcome suggestions for materials which will broaden our collections or improve our service.
We expect parents to be responsible for the types of materials checked out by their children and their selection choices. Likewise parents are responsible for the child's Internet usage.
We expect parents to maintain control of their children while visiting the library. Please remember that the library staff's professional services do not include baby-sitting or childcare.
We expect parents who attend children's programming with their children to demonstrate good listening habits to model for the children.
We expect parents to see that overdue fines are paid promptly. Parents are financially responsible for damages or losses to library materials, equipment or property incurred by their children.