Unsupervised Children Policy

Effective Date: 08/04
Reviewed and Revised Date: 03/24


The Ela Area Public Library welcomes visitors of all ages to use the facilities and services. Since the library is a public, shared space, parents/caregivers are asked to exercise caution, prioritize the safety and well-being of children, and respect the needs of others at the library.

Parents/caregivers are responsible for the behavior of their children at the library, whether or not the parent/caregiver is present.


Children ten years of age and under must be directly supervised at all times by a parent or responsible caregiver (high school age and older).

All children should have the telephone number of someone who can assist in an emergency.

If a child 10 years of age or under is unattended, staff members will search the library to find the parent or caregiver and ask them to supervise and stay with the child. If lack of supervision is a repeated problem, library staff may ask those involved to leave the library for the day.

If a child is in the library without a responsible parent or caregiver, a staff member will call the parent or caregiver and request that they pick up the child. If parents or caregivers do not come to pick up the child, the police will be called to assume responsibility.   

When a child age ten or under is attending a library program, a parent or caregiver must remain in the building and return to meet their child by the end of the program.  For some programs, parents/caregivers are required to attend with their children. 

If a child who is not yet high school age is left at the library at closing, staff members will ask the child to call make sure that a ride is coming. At least two staff members will stay for 15 minutes with the child. After 15 minutes, the police may be called to come and wait with the child. High school age patrons may be left alone except in times of severe weather or other unsafe conditions. 

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