Policy Regarding Unattended Children

Introduction

 The Morris County Library is funded as a Division of County Government to provide educational, cultural and recreational materials and services to all people of Morris County. As a public library, Morris County Library is a unique institution that welcomes customers of all ages and persuasions.

As such, the Morris County Library is a public place and it cannot be responsible for any consequences of caregivers forfeiting their responsibilities.  Children and their safety are of great concern to Morris County Library. We encourage families and youth to use the library, and while doing so, affirm the parents’ and/or caregiver’s responsibility for their child’s safety. The following policy was developed to maintain a safe environment for our children.


Definition

An unattended child is a child of any age who is apparently unaccompanied by a parent or caregiver. Children who are unable or unwilling to care for themselves may not be left alone in the library or on library grounds at any time and must have adequate supervision from a caregiver.

Adults who cannot care for themselves independently, without the constant attention of a caregiver, may not be left alone in the library or on library grounds at any time and must have adequate supervision from a caregiver at all times.


Age-Related Policy

The library acknowledges that the maturity of children at different ages varies. These rules are subject to the discretion of library staff who may apply them to children other than the ages stated below, if they deem it necessary.

  1. Children through the age of five (5) years must have a parent or responsible caregiver in the immediate vicinity (within sight or conversation distance) unless the children are participating in a drop-off library program.
  2. Children ages six to twelve (6-12) years must have a parent or responsible caregiver in the same service area unless the children are participating in a drop-off library program.
  3. When a child participates in a drop-off program, the parent or caregiver must sign the child in and out of the program and, if they do not remain in the building, leave a phone number where they can be reached for the duration of the program. Children must be picked up promptly at the end of the program.
  4. Minors thirteen (13) and over may use the library unattended for a period of time appropriate to their age and maturity.
  5. All children should carry with them the phone number of a parent or responsible caregiver who is to be contacted in case of emergency.

In the event that this policy is violated, we shall notify the Morris County Park Police at 973-326-7654.

APPROVED AUGUST 2015