Butte County Library encourages children and families to take advantage of its services and collections. The Library strives to provide a welcoming, safe and positive environment for all of its users, including children. However, the Library is a public place, and caregivers should not take children's safety in the Library for granted.
Parents, guardians or caregivers are responsible for the supervision of children in the Library. The Library recognizes the responsibility of these responsible adults for the behavior and well-being of their children. While library staff may give children instructions about appropriate behavior in a library setting, the Library has no authority to act in loco parentis.
The Library respects the privacy of all library users of any age, and library staff will intervene under this policy only when a child is deemed to be at risk. These situations include, but are not limited to: children left unsupervised for an extended period of time; children who are ill, injured, hungry, or afraid; children who are not picked up at closing time; and unsupervised children in the Library when weather, power outages or other emergencies require the Library to close earlier than usual. At any time, staff will call 911 if a child appears to need immediate medical assistance.
While the child safety policy primarily applies to children aged twelve and under, older children deemed to be at risk may also be covered as circumstances warrant.
During any time the Library is open, if a child is at risk and no parent or caregiver is present, library staff will make every reasonable effort to contact an individual responsible for the child. If no parent or caregiver can be reached, library staff will contact the local law enforcement agency to take custody of the child.
At closing time, if staff cannot reach a responsible party, two staff members will wait with the child for at least fifteen minutes past closing time. If a parent or caregiver still cannot be reached, and if library staff has no reason to believe that a responsible party is en route to pick up the child, staff will contact the local law enforcement agency to take custody of the child. If law enforcement personnel take custody of a child, library staff may leave a note on the library door to notify the caregiver. If a child is not picked up at closing time on more than one occasion, staff may call law enforcement immediately rather than waiting fifteen minutes. Library staff will not drive children home.
Any time a law enforcement agency is contacted, staff will inform the Library Director.
Passed and adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the County of Butte, State of California, on December 11, 2007.