The purpose of the Safe Child Policy is to ensure the safety of children using the library.
B. POLICY STATEMENT
The Durham County Library welcomes children of all ages to use materials and services. The library staff nurtures children to develop a love of reading and learning, but is not responsible for their care and supervision or for accidents or other incidents that happen to them while visiting the library.
- The responsibility for the care, safety, and behavior of children lies with their parents or designated caregiver, both within the library building and on library grounds. Library staff will determine whether a child’s behavior is inappropriate and will respond to such situations in the manner described below.
- Library staff will report suspected abuse or neglect to the Durham County Department of Social Services at 560-8424, or by calling 1-800-CHILDREN (Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina).
- After 8 p.m., staff should call 911.
- If truancy is suspected, staff should call truancy officers at 697-9024 or 697-9025.
- Children age 10 (ten) and under are to be closely supervised by a parent or caregiver over the age of 16 designated by the parent, during the child’s entire visit to the library.
- Children age 11 (eleven) and up may visit the library unaccompanied for periods up to 4 hours, as long as they demonstrate maturity levels necessary to follow the Courteous Conduct Policy.
- If a child is left unattended at closing, if a parent or caregiver cannot be located when needed, staff will contact appropriate authorities. Staff will try to contact parents or caregivers before contacting appropriate authorities.
The Library’s Courteous Conduct Policy applies to all patrons, regardless of age.
- If a child’s behavior becomes disruptive, library staff will instruct the child to return to the immediate presence of his or her parent or caregiver. If the child does not comply by returning to the presence of his or her parent or caregiver, appropriate authorities will be notified.
- Unaccompanied children who do not follow the Courteous Conduct Policy may be asked to leave the premises.
This policy applies to all children using the library, their parents, and/or caregivers designated by parents.
D. LEGAL REFERENCE
G.S. 7B 301: Duty to report abuse, neglect, dependency, or death due to maltreatment.
Neglected child: A child who does not receive proper care, supervision, or discipline from his or her parent or caregiver.
It is the responsibility of all public service library staff and facility supervisors to understand this policy fully to ensure fair and equitable application. It is the responsibility of the Youth Services Administrator to interpret, monitor, and recommend updates to the policy.
- How to Identify Child Maltreatment – Durham County Department of Social Services, 2007 (PDF)
- Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect – Durham County Department of Social Services, 2007 (PDF)
Effective Date: October 2012
Review Date: September 2013