800 S.Redwood Ave., Kountze, Texas

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Safe Children Policy of KPL

SAFE CHILDREN POLICY

          KOUNTZE PUBLIC LIBRARY

Kountze Public Library encourages people of all ages to visit the library. Children are especially welcome. (The library provides materials, services and programs for all children in our community. We strive to maintain a welcoming, fun and safe environment for all library customers. The safety of children and young people is very important to library staff and the Library Advisory Board. It is for the safety of every child who visits that Kountze Public Library has the following Safe Children Policy in place.

Children under age 7 should never be left unsupervised in any area of the library for any length of time.

Children under age 9 must have a responsible caregiver within sight and conversation distance at all times who will ensure that the child’s behavior is not disturbing to other library users. Children ages 3-8 who are attending a library-sponsored program may stay with other attendees in the meeting room during the program, but their caregiver must be present in the library and readily accessible if needed.

Children ages 9-11 must have a caregiver present in the library during the entire time that they are using library resources. The caregiver must be readily accessible.

Children ages 12 and older may be present in the library unaccompanied by a caregiver, but the child must be able to contact a parent or guardian if needed.

Children are not safe when left unattended.

Kountze Public Library is a public building and as such, anyone can enter. Children are not safe when left unattended in the library. Library staff members have many duties to perform and customers to serve; therefore they cannot monitor the whereabouts of children or assume responsibility for the care and safety of unattended children; therefore, responsible caregivers are expected to supervise their children in the library.

 Responsible Caregivers

For the purpose of this policy, a responsible caregiver is defined as the person who accompanies a child to the library and attends to the child while in the library. The caregiver may be a parent, guardian, adult relative, teacher, day care staff, adult baby sitter or sibling at least age 16 that is responsible for the appropriate behavior of the child while in the library

Some of the dangers unattended children can face include becoming anxious and frightened, or becoming ill.

They might be tempted to leave the library with a stranger. The library might have an unexpected emergency closing that would require the parent to be present to take their child home. 

Unexpected Closings

Caregivers should be aware of the Library’s hours of operation and keep in mind that those hours may change due to holiday schedules, inclement weather or other unexpected closings, including emergency evacuations. Caregivers must make plans for their child’s immediate pick-up due to any of these situations. Children twelve and older should always know the whereabouts of their caregiver and how to contact them in an emergency.  

Disruptive Behavior

Children who are disruptive to other library customers or disruptive in any way may be asked to leave the library if their behavior is not acceptable after reasonable warning.

If a parent or other responsible adult cannot be located, unattended children of any age who are disruptive will be placed in the care of the Kountze Police Department.

  If the older child cannot safely leave the library to return home on his or her own, staff will permit the child to call a parent. If no parent can be contacted, library staff reserves the right to call the Kountze Police Department. A notice will be left on the front door of the library that states: “An unattended child has been placed in the care of the Kountze Police Department across the street.” Staff cannot include the child’s name on the notice because of privacy issues.

 Closing Time

Library hours are clearly posted and it is unacceptable for staff to be late in closing the facility because a caregiver cannot be located to pick up the child. Parents are expected to collect under-age children before the library closes for the day.

Unattended children inside the library will be asked to call their caregiver well in advance of closing time. It is not advisable for a child to wait outside the building after staff has left for the day. 

Under no circumstances will the library staff take a child out of the building or transport children to another location.

Children and the Internet

Even though the library uses filters, The City of Kountze/ Library accepts no responsibility for any information viewed on the World Wide Web by a patron, his/her family or the patron using the computer workstation next to, before or after him/her. The Library does not act in place of the parent.
 

Approved by the Library Advisory Board  
September 15, 2009