Safe Child Policy
The East Lansing Public Library (ELPL) strives to create and maintain a welcoming environment that encourages patrons of all ages to explore library resources and share learning opportunities. ELPL wants children of all ages to have a positive experience.
However, busy public buildings are not secure places for children to be left alone. Responsibility for the welfare and the behavior of children using the library rests with the parent or caregiver. Parents or caregivers are also responsible for ensuring that the child has a safe means of transportation home at closing or if the child is asked to leave the library for a violation of library rules. Library staff cannot assume responsibility for children’s safety and comfort when they are unattended.
Levels of supervision required:
- Children under the age of ten must be directly supervised by a parent or responsible caregiver age 13 and over at all times while in the library. Parents or caregivers must remain in the library building. A child may attend a program in the program room by him/herself; however, the parent/caregiver must be ready to meet that child promptly when the program ends or have made arrangements clear with the child regarding leaving the library on his/her own or with a designated caregiver. Staff does not monitor the arrival or departure of any child from a program or the building.
- Children ages ten and over may be left unattended, providing they are mature enough to understand and follow library rules and observe proper conduct. Such children are subject to the same rules of behavior as other patrons and the same consequences, including being asked to leave the building and/or premises. Staff does not monitor the arrival or departure of any child from a program or the building. Children must know how to reach an adult in case of an emergency, and both child and adult should be aware of library hours.
At closing, if a child is unattended, ELPL staff will attempt to contact the child’s parent/caregiver. If attempts to contact the parent/caregiver have been unsuccessful after 15 minutes past library closing time, ELPL staff will contact the East Lansing Police Department. At least two staff members will stay with the child until a parent/caregiver arrives or the child is transferred to the care of the East Lansing Police Department.
Parents and caregivers, not the library staff, are ultimately responsible for the actions and safety of children visiting the East Lansing Public Library.
Approved by the East Lansing Public Library Board of Trustees
June 16, 2010
Revised September 17, 2014
Revised September 20, 2023