Vulnerable Person Policy

Printable policy (PDF)


Durham County Library strives to provide a friendly, welcoming, and safe environment for all community members. The library is particularly concerned for the safety of vulnerable persons in and around the library.

A vulnerable person is an individual who is mentally or physically challenged to a degree that significantly impairs the individual’s ability to provide adequately for their own care or manage their own behavior without assistance.


Vulnerable persons who are unable or unwilling to care for themselves must be attended to and have adequate supervision at all times. A parent/guardian or caregiver 18 years of age or older is responsible for monitoring activities and managing the behavior of vulnerable persons during their library visits. The library does not assume responsibility for vulnerable persons while they are in the building or on library property.

Vulnerable persons who can understand and follow Durham County Library’s Courteous Conduct Policy, and can provide for their own needs, are welcome to remain in the library unattended. All library customers are expected to follow the rules of conduct outlined in Durham County Library’s Courteous Conduct Policy. Vulnerable persons left unattended should have contact information for a parent/guardian or caregiver in case of emergency and be able to contact them as needed. It is not the library’s responsibility to retain this information.

Library staff are responsible for assisting all library customers and cannot adequately monitor unattended vulnerable persons. Staff will attempt to contact a parent/guardian or caregiver when a vulnerable person’s health or safety is in doubt, if their behavior excessively disturbs other library customers, or if their actions knowingly and repeatedly violate any part of Durham County Library’s Courteous Conduct Policy. Library staff are not responsible for preventing vulnerable persons from leaving library grounds or monitoring or managing their behavior.


This policy applies to all library customers on library property.


It is the responsibility of all library staff to understand this policy fully to ensure fair and equitable application. It is the responsibility of the Deputy Director and the Community Engagement Administrator, with the advice of the Board of Trustees, to interpret, monitor and recommend updates to this policy. The Library Director is the final authority regarding enforcing this policy.

Effective July 2022