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Child Safety

Child Safety Policy


The Portage County District Library welcomes patrons of all ages to the Library to use library resources and attend library programs. The Library requires that everyone follow the Patron Code of Conduct established by the Library Board of Trustees. The responsibility for the safety and behavior of children in the library rests with the parent/caregiver and not with the Library personnel.


Our libraries are public buildings, a situation that could put children at risk. Staff members will apply the reasonable care standard (the degree of care which a person of ordinary prudence would exercise in the same or similar circumstances) in their dealings and interactions with children and young adults. While the safety of children is a serious concern for everyone, the Library is not able to provide security, medical attention, or childcare to children left alone at the Library. Children who are unable or unwilling to care for themselves may not be left alone in the Library and must have adequate supervision while in the Library. The Library is not responsible if children leave Library property unattended.


Finally, parents will be held responsible for any financial loss incurred by the Library as a result of a child's inappropriate actions.


Ages seven and under:

Children under the age of seven years must be under the direct supervision of a parent or other adult when in the Library, which means an adult must remain with the child during the entire library visit. This includes the circumstances of a child playing a computer game, selecting materials for checkout, or playing in the Children’s area of the Library. Adults who do not attend a library program with a child must remain in the building, accompanying the child to the area at the start of the program and returning to the area at the conclusion of the program.


Ages eight to fourteen:

Children ages 8-14 may be left in the library, unattended for brief periods of time, provided they demonstrate purposeful intent to use Library resources, and that their behavior is not disruptive to other patrons or staff. Children using inappropriate behavior may be asked to leave the library. If a child in this age group is not able to leave the library without an adult, he/she should not be in the library alone.


All minors under eighteen years of age:

Parents are responsible for the conduct and safety of their minor children in the library, or on library grounds, regardless of whether they are in the company of their children or not.


Unattended minors:

If unattended children are being disruptive or are left at the Library at closing time, staff will attempt to locate or contact the parent or caregiver. If unable to locate or contact a responsible person, local law authorities may be contacted and the child placed in their care. 


Approved: December 13, 2007

Supercedes: 6-2, July 15, 1992; 6-3, 6-4, July 20, 1988