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Safe Child

A. PURPOSE

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.

Responsibility

  • 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 919-560-8424, or by calling 1-800-CHILDREN (Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina).
  • If truancy is suspected, staff should call truancy officers at 697-9024 or 697-9025.

Supervision

  • 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.
  • If a child is left unattended at closing, if a parent or caregiver cannot be located when needed, or if staff suspects child neglect or abuse, staff will contact appropriate authorities. Staff will try to contact parents or caregivers before contacting appropriate authorities.

Behavior

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 will be asked to leave the premises if the disruptive behavior continues after receiving one warning. Children are allowed to contact their parents to pick them up before being required to leave the property.

C. APPLICABILITY

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.

E. DEFINITIONS

Neglected child: A child who does not receive proper care, supervision, or discipline from his or her parent or caregiver.

F. RESPONSIBILITY

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 and the Deputy Director, with the advice of the Board of Trustees, to interpret, monitor, and recommend updates to the policy. The Library Director is the final authority in regards to enforcing this policy.

G. ATTACHMENTS

Effective Date: March 2014
Review Date: March 2014