Children’s Rooms and Children in the Library
The Harrison Public Library encourages visits by children and wants to make these occasions memorable, educational, and enjoyable. This policy has been established to achieve these goals, and also to protect and ensure the well-being of children who use the Library.
All children under age 9 must be accompanied by an acceptable caregiver while in the Library, including throughout the child’s attendance at programs. “Acceptable caregiver” includes a parent, guardian, chaperone, babysitter, teacher, or anyone at least 14 years old who has been engaged by a parent or legal guardian to supervise a child under the age of 9.
The Library and its staff cannot, and expressly do not, assume any responsibility to supervise or care for any minor on Library premises.
The Library requires that caregivers do the following:
- Monitor and approve their charge’s use of books, materials, technology, and other resources of the Harrison Public Library. The Library staff has no obligation to and will make no attempt to restrict access by children to information in the Library or on its computers.
- Ensure that their charge exhibits appropriate behavior in the Library as described in the Library’s Code of Conduct and Food and Beverage Policy.
- Be alert to “stranger danger.” The Library, unlike a school, is an open facility with few restrictions on who may visit. Also, the Library staff does not and cannot monitor when children leave and/or with whom they may be leaving.
- Ensure that their charges do not experience, make, or provoke any inappropriate physical contact with other children or adults. Request help from the Library staff, if necessary, to accomplish this.
- Be responsible for their charge’s behavior while he/she participates in Library programs.
Children are encouraged to use the Library for homework and recreational reading and to attend programs. The Library staff realizes that the Library will be noisier at busy times and that children by nature can cause some commotion.
However, children (whether with a caregiver or not) who are deemed too disruptive by the Library staff will be warned that if they do not settle down they will be asked to leave the Library. Extreme or repetitive disruptive behavior, in the sole judgment of the Library staff, may result in immediate expulsion from the Library.
A disruptive child who needs to contact an acceptable caregiver may do so, or may ask the Library staff to do so, and then may wait in the Library until the acceptable caregiver arrives.
Children at Closing Time
Please note the posted closing times for the Library and pick up your child 15 minutes before closing time in order to ensure your child’s safety. If a child under age 12 is found in the Library at closing time without an acceptable caregiver, the police department will be notified.
Who May Use the Children’s Rooms
The Children’s Rooms are reserved for the exclusive use of the following patrons:
- Children age 12 and younger and acceptable caregivers accompanying those children
- Patrons over 12 only while they are getting any material they need that is not available elsewhere in the Library
- People developing curricula or researching children’s literature
All other patrons must only use the other areas of the Library.
Who May Participate in Children’s Programs
Participation in children’s programs at the Library is restricted to patrons in the age range listed for the program on the Library’s website calendar and to acceptable caregivers who are accompanying children.
Reviewed and approved by the Harrison Public Library Board of Trustees, 7/7/2009. Revised 5/6/2013, 5/4/2015, 5/1/2017, 10/03/2018.