Child & Dependent Safety Policy

Approved by the Okefenokee Regional Library Board | May 4, 2009

Revised February 2, 2015

The Okefenokee Regional Library System is committed to providing its users an atmosphere and environment free from unnecessary distractions and conducive to the most efficient use of library facilities. Part of this commitment is a concern for the safety and welfare of everyone who visits the library.

Library facilities are public buildings, and as such, have special security concerns. Children or dependent persons left unattended may be at risk.

The Library staff has many responsibilities, and they are neither trained nor expected to provide care and supervision for children or dependent persons of any age.

  • Children under 12 years of age must remain under the supervision of the parent or caregiver.
  • Parents, legal guardians, and caregivers are responsible for the care and behavior of children and dependent persons at all times while in Library buildings.
  • Dependent persons may include persons incapacitated due to physical and/or mental disabilities or other conditions who are dependent on others for their safety and well-being.

A child who is attending a library program need not be accompanied into that program by a parent, unless otherwise indicated.

  • Parents and caregivers must, however, be present in the building during the programming in case an emergency should arise.

If necessary at any time, staff will contact the appropriate law enforcement or social services authorities to assume responsibility for the welfare of a child or dependent person in need of attention.

 

Persons Left Unattended

When Library staff recognizes that a child or dependent person has been left unattended in the library or on its premises, they will attempt to identify and locate the responsible parent, legal guardian, and caregiver or law enforcement.

  • Staff will search the library building and/or grounds in an effort to locate the responsible party.
  • If they cannot be located, a staff member will monitor the person until the parent, legal guardian, or caregiver returns to the library.
  • When the responsible party is located, the Child and Dependent Safety Policy will be explained and a copy given to them.
  • Staff will fill out an incident report and record the parent’s, legal guardians, or caregiver’s name, address, and telephone number and the name of the unattended person.
  • Staff will refer any additional incidents to law enforcement.


Unattended Persons after Closing Time

Parents, legal guardians, and caregivers are responsible for being aware of the times the Library opens and closes. Library staff must exercise appropriate procedures to ensure the safety of unattended persons, either minors 17 years of age and younger or dependent persons of any age, especially when the library is closing.

  • Thirty minutes prior to closing time, staff will make an effort to ascertain that any minors or dependent persons of any age have arrangements for transportation from the library?
  • If no ride has arrived by closing time, after 15 minutes staff will call the local Police Department.
  • At least 2 staff members must remain with a minor at all times until law enforcement arrives.
  •  Law enforcement will monitor persons left unattended until transportation arrives.
  • Staff will fill out an incident report form: record the parent’s, legal guardians, or caregiver’s name, address, and telephone number and the name of the unattended person.
  • Staff will refer any additional incidents to law enforcement.

Under no circumstances will library staff members provide transportation to unattended minors or dependent persons, or leave them alone in the building or on the library premises.