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Child Safety Policy
Children are always welcome at the Watertown Free Public Library.
The Watertown Free Public Library has three main service departments with dedicated public access desktop computers.
Children and their caregivers are intended to use the computers in the Children’s Department. Teens, or children in grades 6 through age 17, are intended to use the computers in the Teen Department.
Adults, or persons 18 or older, are intended to use the computers in the Reference Department.
In the interest of child safety and consistency of service, desktop computers in each department are for use only by the intended audience.
Individuals wishing to use a computer in a different service area may check out a laptop for use anywhere in the library. Adults should be aware of the Unattended Adults policy, and should not settle in the Children’s or Teen Departments unaccompanied by a child or teen. Children in the Teen Room must be accompanied by a responsible childcare provider as detailed below.
The safety of children on Library premises is a serious concern of the Library staff. However, the responsibility for the safety and behavior of children on Library premises rests with the parent or childcare provider and not with Library staff. The following guidelines apply to the conduct of children:
- Children under the age of 10 must be accompanied by a parent or responsible childcare provider.
- Children, age 10 and older may be left unattended for a period of time - not to exceed 2 hours.
- Children left unattended should know how to reach a parent or guardian and parents should be aware of the library closing time.
- Children should know who is picking them up and when.
- Parents and guardians should be aware of the hours of programs so that the children do not have to wait for unreasonable lengths of time to be picked up.
- Parents or guardians should advise children to wait inside the building to avoid the hazards of the street and parking lot.
- Staff members will not transport children from the library to any other location.
- If an unattended child's conduct calls attention to him/herself, a Library staff member may attempt to locate the parent or responsible child care provider.
- If a problem arises with children of any age, and the staff is unable to locate the parent or guardian, the Police will be notified.
The Watertown Public Library is a public building open to all. The staff cannot regulate when or with whom children leave the library.
Enforcement of these rules for children may take the following forms, depending on the severity of the misconduct, which will be determined by Library staff.
- A child who is violating the Conduct in the Library policy will be given one warning. If a child does not modify his/her behavior after one warning, the parent or child care provider may be asked to remove the child from Library premises.
- If a child is violating the Conduct in the Library policy and is not attended by a parent or child care provider, a Library staff member will ask the child to modify his/her behavior and take appropriate action.
Approved August 24, 2009; Amended February 6, 2018