Parental Policy

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Purpose
The Richland Public Library (RPL) serves children and families with a wide range of educational and recreational collections and programs.  RPL supports parents and guardians in their efforts to guide their children’s reading, viewing and listening choices.  The purpose of this policy is to inform parents and guardians of their responsibilities regarding their children’s use of the library.

Statement of Policy
In the library, many customers must share common space and resources.  Disruptive, rowdy, or unsafe behavior will not be permitted.  Parents, guardians, teachers and caregivers, not library staff, are responsible for their children’s behavior, supervision, and safety while their children are in the library or on library grounds, which includes their children’s access to library materials and electronic resources.

RPL recommends that a parent, guardian or other responsible party be present to supervise children ages 12 and younger.  Parents, guardians, teachers and caregivers may not leave children alone or in the care of other parties who are unable or unwilling to provide adequate care. Supervising adults must be close at hand. The library is not intended to be a daycare, after school care facility, summer camp, or babysitting service.  RPL staff is available to assist parents, guardians, and children in the use of the library; however RPL staff cannot act “in loco parentis” (in place of a parent) for children in the library.

If a child or teen is acting in an unsafe manner, behaving inappropriately, or appears to be in distress, staff will attempt to locate or contact the parent, guardian or other party responsible for the child or teen.  If the parent, guardian or responsible party cannot be reached, the child or teen may be banned from the library or staff will contact law enforcement for assistance.

Closing Time
Children ages 12 and under who do not have transportation at closing time will be allowed to contact their parent or guardian by phone.  If the child does not know the phone number, staff members may use library records to help locate the parent/guardian.  The child or staff will ask that the parent/guardian come and pick up the child within 15 minutes. 

If a parent/guardian cannot be reached, or if a child age 12 and under is not picked up within 15 minutes after closing time, library staff will notify the police and report an “abandoned child.” Two staff members will wait with the child in the library until the police arrive.  The police will wait with the child for 15 minutes. If the parent/guardian does not arrive within 15 minutes, the police will take the child to the police station.  Under no circumstances will staff provide transportation or accompany a child home.

  • Approved by the Richland Public Library Board on February 14, 2012.