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Children in the Library Policy
The Newport Beach Public Library encourages parents/adult caregivers to bring children to the Library whenever possible. The City offers many programs designed to encourage children to use and enjoy the Library. The Library staff has been trained to help children enjoy the Library and the materials it offers; the Library is not a babysitting or daycare facility. It is the responsibility of the parent/adult caregiver to supervise and ensure the safety, welfare, and appropriate behavior of his/her children while in the Library.
For purposes of this policy the term “disruptive behavior” means the creation of loud and unreasonable noise, running, jumping, climbing, fighting or other behavior which could interfere with the rights of other patrons.
Library staff shall administer the following policies relative to the presence of children in the Library:
CHILDREN IN THE LIBRARY
The Newport Beach Public Library welcomes children of all ages to use Library resources and attend programs. This policy is intended to promote safety for children who use the Library and enjoyment by all Library patrons. However, parents should be aware that the Library is a public building open to all individuals and it is not the Library staff’s function or purpose to provide supervision or to care for children while parents or caregivers are not in attendance. Parents, guardians, or caregivers are solely responsible for the behavior, safety, and supervision of their children at all times while children are in the Library or on Library premises.
In order to maintain a safe atmosphere where reading and studying are encouraged, the Newport Beach Public Library has adopted the following policy:
1. CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF TWELVE: Children under the age of twelve may not be left alone in the Library for any reason and need to be supervised by a responsible caregiver at all times. If it comes to the attention of Library staff that a child under the age of twelve has been left unattended, staff shall make a reasonable effort to locate the caregiver in the Library or by phone. If the caregiver cannot be located, the police may be called to escort the child to a safe location until parents can be reached. Library staff will not transport a child nor will a child be allowed to sit in a staff person's vehicle.
2. CHILDREN TWELVE AND OLDER: Children twelve and older may use the Library on their own, but the parent/adult caregiver assumes responsibility for their behavior. All children must adhere to the Library’s standards of conduct and acceptable behavior as stated in the Library Use Policy. Staff may ask children of that age to behave and, if the disruptive behavior continues, an attempt may be made to notify parents/adult caregivers; however, the Library assumes no responsibility to do so. As with any violation of Library Use Policy, the police may be contacted in response to non-compliance.
3. UNATTENDED CHILDREN AT CLOSING: Parents are responsible for being aware of the Library’s hours and for picking up their children on time. If staff is aware of any unaccompanied child under the age of eighteen remaining in the Library or on the Library premises at closing time without a ride home, staff may, but is not required to, make a reasonable effort to locate the parent/adult caregiver by phone. If the caregiver cannot be located, or is unable to pick up the child within 15 minutes after the Library closes, the police may be called to escort the child to a safe location. Under no circumstances will staff transport unattended children, nor will a child be allowed to sit in a staff person's vehicle.
4. Situations may arise when, due to unusual or emergency circumstances, it may be necessary for the Library to close without prior notice. In this event or in case of other emergencies, unaccompanied children under the age of eighteen who cannot transport themselves must be able to reach a parent or responsible adult caregiver for immediate pick-up. As above, if the responsible caregiver cannot be located, within 15 minutes, police may be called to escort the child to a safe location until parents can be reached. Under no circumstances will staff transport unattended children, nor will a child be allowed to sit in a staff person's vehicle.
5. ADULTS IN THE CHILDREN’S ROOM: Adults unaccompanied by a child may not use the Children’s Room and its restroom at the Central Library or the Children’s areas at the branches, unless accompanying or assisting a child, or with the express permission of Library staff (for example, to locate and obtain children’s materials).
Adopted - January 24, 1994
Reassigned – April 8, 2003
Amended – September 27, 2011
Amended- January 17, 2017
Reviewed – March 18, 2019
Amended – June 21, 2021
This Policy will be periodically reviewed by the Board of Library Trustees on the first to occur of (i) as circumstances may require or (ii) every two years from the date of adoption, last amendment, or last review. Adopted, last amended, or last reviewed on June 21, 2021.