Unattended Child Policy

In an effort to provide a library environment that allows all patrons to utilize library materials in a safe, relaxed manner, the Teaneck Public Library Board of Trustees has adopted the following policy concerning children in the library.

Supervision: The Teaneck Public Library (the “Library”) welcomes children to use its facilities and services. While library staff members are available to assist children with access to books and electronic resources, the responsibility for the care, safety, and well-being of children using the library rests with the parent/guardian or caregiver and not with the library staff members. The public library cannot and does not serve as a day care center or babysitting service. Children who are unable or unwilling to care for themselves may not be left alone in the library, and must have adequate supervision from a caregiver at all times. If a child cannot be left alone in his or her own home, he or she is too young to be left unsupervised at the public library.

Children nine (9) years of age and younger shall not be left unattended in the Library under any circumstances. They must be accompanied by a parent/guardian or caregiver. Parents/guardians, if delegating their responsibilities to a caregiver, must ensure the caregiver is a responsible person of a suitable age (at least thirteen (13) years of age). A parent/guardian or caregiver must remain with the child during the entire time period in the library, and must directly supervise the child.

Behavior: Children, like all library patrons, whether accompanied by an adult or not, are expected to behave appropriately. Children are subject to the same rules of conduct as other patrons, must follow the Library’s Code of Conduct and are subject to the same consequences, including but not limited to removal from the premises or suspension of a library card.
Truancy: Unless accompanied by an adult or guardian, children aged 6 to 15 must present written authorization from school authorities excusing them from school in order to enter the library on school days from 9 AM to 2:30 PM. Library staff will report instances of truancy to the local school district’s attendance officers.

Closing time: Parents, guardians, caregivers, and/or teachers are solely responsible for ensuring that children have transportation home once the library closes. If children are left unattended at library closing time, after attempts to contact a parent or guardian are unsuccessful, the Police Department or appropriate authorities may be notified.

Adopted June 9, 2016