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UNATTENDED CHILDREN

The Wallington Library is committed to maintaining a safe and welcoming environment for children of all ages. It is the Library’s goal to provide services, programs, collections, and resources which engender a love of libraries. The Library’s staff is trained to provide such services, programs, collections, and resources for all children visiting the Library. The Library’s staff is not trained to act in the role of caregiver nor can the Library function as a child care center (NJSA 30:5B-1-15 prohibits the Library from functioning as a childcare center unless licensed by the State of New Jersey). 

Notebook

POLICY

The following policy has been established for the well-being of all children visiting the library:

  • Children under the age of nine (9) must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or caregiver (age thirteen (13) or older) at all times while in the Library or on Library property. In the event that a child under the age of nine (9) is attending a library program, for which a parent, guardian, or caregiver is not expected to attend, it is understood that the parent, guardian or caregiver must remain in the Library building and immediately collect their child upon the end of the program. 
     

  • If a child under the age of nine (9) is found in the Library or on Library property unattended, Library staff will attempt to locate the child’s parent, guardian, or caregiver. If a parent, guardian, or caregiver cannot be located within a reasonable amount of time (fifteen (15) minutes), the Wallington police will be contacted.
     

  • At the discretion of the parent, guardian, or caregiver, children between the ages of nine (9) and thirteen (13) may be left in the Library for a reasonable amount of time (no more than two (2) hours) to utilize library services and resources, attend library programs, and peruse library materials. While in the Library and on Library property, children are expected to comply with the Library’s Patron Rules of Conduct Policy. 
     

  • Parents, guardians, or caregivers must be easily reachable by children ages nine (9) to thirteen (13) or by the Library in the event that they must be contacted for any reason. If a parent, guardian, or caregiver cannot be reached, the Wallington Police will be called to assist with locating the child’s parent, guardian, or caregiver.
     

  • Thirty (30)  minutes prior to close, Library staff will approach any unaccompanied children in the Library or on Library property to notify the child of the approaching closing time and determine if the child has a parent, guardian, or caregiver picking them up at least fifteen minutes prior to close. Children who do not have transportation already arranged will be asked to contact their parent, guardian, or caregiver.
     

  • Upon the Library’s close, if a child under the age of fourteen (14) has not been picked up from the Library, two staff members will wait with the child for fifteen minutes. After fifteen minutes, the Wallington police will be contacted to pick the child up.
     

  • Dependent persons must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or caregiver (age thirteen (13) or older) at all times while in the Library or on Library property. In the event that a dependent person is attending a library program, for which a parent, guardian, or caregiver is not expected to attend, it is understood that the parent, guardian or caregiver must remain in the Library building and immediately collect their charge upon the end of the program. Dependent persons are those who are unable to make decisions about their own safety and well-being. 
     

  • Community groups utilizing the Library for meetings or programs are the responsible caregivers for any children or dependent persons participating in such activities.
     

  • Parents, guardians, or caregivers, not the Library, are responsible for the behavior of their children or dependent persons using the library and may be responsible for damages caused by their children or dependent persons.

Adopted by the Library Board of Trustees on March 18, 2021.