Children in the Library Policy


The Newport Beach Public Library welcomes children of all ages to use Library resources and attend programs, and caregivers to bring children to the Library whenever possible. This policy is intended to promote safety for children who use the Library and enjoyment by all Library patrons. Library staff are trained to help children enjoy the Library and the materials it offers. However, parents should be aware that the Library is a public building open to all individuals. Parents, guardians, and 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 addition, parents, guardians, and adult caregivers are responsible for the Library materials reviewed by or exposed to the children under their care. All children must adhere to the Library’s standards of conduct and acceptable behavior as stated in the Library Use Policy (NBPL 1).

For purposes of this policy, “children” are any patrons under the age of eighteen, and the term “disruptive behavior” refers to the creation of loud and unreasonable noise, running, jumping, climbing, fighting, or other behavior that could interfere with the rights or safety of other patrons.

In order to maintain a safe atmosphere where reading, studying, and programming 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 unattended in the Library for any reason. 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. 

2. CHILDREN TWELVE AND OLDER: Children twelve and older may use the Library on their own, but the parent/adult caregiver of each such child assumes responsibility for the child’s behavior. 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. In response to non-compliance, staff has the discretion to contact the police.

3. UNATTENDED CHILDREN AT CLOSING: If staff is aware of any unattended child 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. 

4. UNSCHEDULED CLOSURE OF LIBRARY: If the Library closes without prior notice due to unusual or emergency circumstances, unattended children 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.

5. TRANSPORTATION BY STAFF: Under no circumstances will staff transport unattended children, nor will a child be allowed to sit in a staff person’s vehicle.

6. ADULTS IN THE CHILDREN'S ROOM: Adults unaccompanied by a child may not use the Children’s Room or its restroom at the Central Library or the Children’s areas at the branches, unless accompanying or assisting a child, or with the express advance 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
Formerly I-20
Formerly I-6
Reviewed – March 18, 2019
Amended – June 21, 2021
Amended – June 19, 2023

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 19, 2023.