Unattended Children Policy
The Public Library of Johnston County and Smithfield welcomes children of all ages. It is part of the mission of the library to encourage children to develop an interest in reading and learning.
Library staff have many duties to perform in order to serve the citizens of Johnston County. Providing babysitting or childcare services is not part of the library’s responsibilities.
Children's caregivers are responsible for their children's behavior and safety while on library premises. Caregivers can be parents, guardians, adult relatives, teachers, day-care staff, etc.
All children, as well as everyone using the library, are subject to the Disruptive Behavior Policy.
Children 7 Years Old and Younger
Children seven years and younger should be accompanied by an adult caregiver while in the library. Children attending library programs supervised by library staff do not have to remain with caregivers during the programs unless so directed by staff, but caregivers must remain in the library building. For unattended children of this age, the library staff will attempt to locate the caregiver within the library. If the caregiver cannot be located, the police will be called and the unattended child will be placed in police custody.
Children 8 to 15 Years Old
Children eight to 15 years of age may remain in the library without an adult caregiver present if they are observed by library staff to be using the library appropriately. Appropriate library use includes, but is not limited to:
Looking at or reading books or magazines
Quietly using computers (parental permission required)
Working on schoolwork or similar projects
Participating in library programs or activities
Children whose conduct is disruptive to library operations and patron enjoyment and use of the library may have their privilege of using the library restricted or denied to the extent necessary to deal with the problem. Children may be asked to leave the library for the day.
If a child is left after closing time, two staff members will remain and attempt to reach a caregiver. If, after 15 minutes, the caregiver cannot be reached, the staff member in charge will call the Smithfield Police Department and place the child in the custody of the police.
Approved by Library Board of TrusteesSeptember 11, 2000