Unattended Children Policy

The T.O.H.P. Burnham Library welcomes children to use its facilities and services. The Library is a very busy place and staff cannot supervise children or guarantee their safety on library property.

Young children are safe when supervised by a parent or caregiver while in the library. Parents should remember that the library is a public building available for the use of all, for the protection and well being of children who enjoy libraries, the following policy has been established:

Children under the age of 10 must be accompanied by an adult in the library. The library staff cannot assume responsibility for the safety of an unattended child.

Parents of caregivers must stay in the library building while their child under the age of 10 is attending a library sponsored program. Children attending library programs are supervised by the library staff only during the scheduled time of the program.

At the discretion of a responsible adult, a child age 10 or older may be left unattended for the period of time needed to select materials, complete a homework assignment, or attend a program. The child must know how to reach the responsible adult in case this need should arise. Children should not be left for more than 2 hours at a time. Children will be expected to display appropriate behavior, conducive to maintaining a peaceful atmosphere in the library for all patrons.

Should a situation arise that a child under the age of 10 is unattended in the library, attempts to contact or locate a parent or legal guardian will be made. If no parent/guardian can be located or if the library is closing a staff member will contact the police. Under no circumstance will a staff member take a child out of the building or transport to another location.

This policy has the support of the Essex Police Department.


Approved by the T.O.H.P. Burnham Library Trustees 2/27/2015

Start Your Search