Policy: Unattended Child

White Plains Public Library welcomes users of all ages to enjoy the facilities, collections and programs offered by the library. Whether or not they are present, parents or guardians are ultimately responsible for the behavior of their children in the Library until the children reach the age 18, and must ensure that their children adhere to the Library’s Code of Conduct and other policies. Though staff will always respond with care and concern, they cannot assume responsibility for the safety, behavior, care, or supervision of unattended children.

In this policy, the word “responsible caregiver” is used to refer to parents, guardians, chaperones, babysitters or other supervisors of children. A responsible caregiver is someone who is responsible for the behavior and supervision of the child(ren) in their care while at the Library. For children through 4 years old, a responsible caregiver must be at least 14 years old. For children ages 5 through 8, a responsible caregiver must be at least 12 years old.

Children through Age 8
Children through 8 years old must be accompanied at all times by an actively engaged responsible caregiver. If a child is in a Library program that does not include the caregiver, the caregiver should be nearby and available if needed.

Children Ages 9 and Up
Once a child is 9 years old, they may use the Library unattended. We expect children unattended at the Library to be mature enough to follow the Library’s Code of Conduct on their own, to take responsibility for their own safety, and to be able to leave the building without an adult.

Unattended Children at Closing
If a child aged 8 years old or lower is found unattended at the time of closing, the Librarian In Charge (LIC) and a member of the Youth Services staff will make a reasonable attempt to reach a parent or caregiver. If staff are unsuccessful, or a responsible caregiver is unable to pick up the child within a reasonable amount of time, the child will be turned over to White Plains Police.

Procedure: LIC will call Dan DiMassimo of the Department of Public Works at 914-523-0042 and inform him that there is an unattended child and the Library needs to remain open for a minimum of 30 more minutes; if Mr. DiMassimo is unavailable, his supervisor should be contacted. Depending on attempts to reach a responsible caregiver, the decision will be made by LIC when to call the Police, typically if a responsible caregiver cannot be reached within 30 minutes, or if reached and not able to pick up the child within a reasonable amount of time.

Revised and adopted by the White Plains Library Board of Trustees on 7/12/23.

PDF Version: WPPL Policy Unattended Child 07-12-2023.pdf