Our goal is to be a leader in establishing a foundation for early literacy and supporting exploration and growth at every stage of life. This means that we will engage children and families in high quality learning experiences. We welcome children of all ages to the library to introduce them to the many opportunities for discovery and creativity available through library resources and programs. However, like most busy public places, the library may present hazards for unsupervised children. This policy is intended to help children and families to safely enjoy San Mateo County Libraries facilities and services.
Young children are not to be left alone in the library at any time; school age children and young teens are not to be left unattended for extended periods of time. Parents should consider the following when deciding whether or not their child is ready to visit the library on their own:
- Staff are available to assist children at the library, but staff cannot act in place of a parent or guardian for children in the library.
- The library is a public building, open to all members of the community.
- The library contains collections for all ages, as well as unfiltered Internet access.
Library staff respects the privacy of all library patrons, and although it is not the library’s responsibility to determine if a child is at risk, staff will intervene when a child is deemed at risk and contact the parent/guardian or the police.
- If children are not picked up by library closing time, police may be called at the discretion of the staff.
- If a child is not adhering to the Behavior Policy, staff will attempt to locate or contact the parent or guardian. If such person cannot be located, the child may be asked to leave the library, or the police may be called.
Approved by the Library JPA Governing Board on November 7, 2016.