Policy for Youth in the Library and Children’s Room Guidelines

The Teaneck Public Library (the “Library”) welcomes the use of its facilities, materials, services and programs by children and parents. (“Parent” includes a parent, guardian, or primary caretaker 18 years or older who is responsible for the child.) These guidelines are to provide a better understanding of services, to encourage parent participation, and to create a safe environment for all children who use the Library.

Access to the Children’s and Teen Sections of the Library
Adults can access the children’s and teen sections of the library, to attend programs designated for children or teens only when accompanied by a child or teen, or when the adult needs to access those collections (such as selecting library materials in those areas). Adults may visit the children’s and teen areas of the Library only when accompanied by children using that department (ie. selecting/retrieving materials). Children’s areas, including the Children’s Room, are designated for children 13 and under. Teen areas are designated for teenagers in 7th-12th grades. Seating on the lower level is reserved for teenagers in 5th-12th grades from 3:30 PM – 6 PM on school days.

Library Materials
It is the responsibility of the parent to decide what materials and programs are suitable for their child. While Library staff are available to guide children with their selections, it is not the responsibility of staff to prevent children from viewing or borrowing books, videos, or other materials that may be considered inappropriate for them. Parents are encouraged to visit the Library with their children and take an active role in their selections.

Library Programs
Children’s programs are restricted to the appropriate ages, as indicated in the program descriptions, and to the adults who accompany them. Teen programs are restricted to teen attendance only.

Unattended Children
Per N.J.S.A. 30:5B-1 to 15, the Library is prohibited from functioning as a child care center. Parents are responsible for their child’s behavior and safety at all times in the Library. Unattended children are children of any age who are apparently unaccompanied by an adult caregiver/parent.

Children who are unable, or unwilling, to care for themselves may not be left alone in the Library and must have adequate supervision while in the Library. To ensure the safety of your child, the Library requires that children under the age of nine (9) have a parent remain with the child during their entire time in the Library; and the parent must directly supervise the child. Some Library programs require caregiver participation; and for other programs, children may attend independently under the supervision of a Library staff member. When parents are not required to be present in a children’s program, they must remain within the Library building.

If the staff observe a child under the age of 9 who appears to be unattended, an effort will be made to locate the child’s parent. If the parent is unavailable to pick up the child, or the Library staff cannot reach the parent, the Police Department or appropriate authorities may be notified. Parents should be aware of the Library’s hours of operation and make arrangements for the care of their children as appropriate. The Library is not responsible if children leave the Library unattended.

Code of Conduct
The Library strives to create a welcoming environment conducive to the safe and orderly use of the Library and requests the cooperation of patrons refraining from behavior that disrupts library services. All patrons of the Library, including children, are expected to abide by the Code of Conduct while using library materials and services, participating in library events, and programs, and other customary library business.

A parent may be notified at the determination of the Library staff if a child’s behavior becomes problematic and/or violates the Code of Conduct. Parents are responsible for the behavior of their child(ren) to the age of 18 years, even when the child is in the Library without them. A child displaying inappropriate behavior will be informed of the rules. If inappropriate behavior continues, the child may be asked to leave the Library. If a child is not able to leave the Library without an adult, he/she should not be in the Library without an adult. This is of particular concern in inclement weather and after dark. All children should have the telephone number of someone who can assist them in an emergency.

The Teaneck Public Library wants to provide a safe and appropriate library environment for use by the public. Behavior that infringes on the library usage by others will not be tolerated. Any patron not abiding by these or other regulations of the Library may be required to leave the Library premises and may forfeit his or her Library privileges as Library staff deem appropriate. Library employees will contact the police if deemed advisable.

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees on August 3, 2023