Child Safety Policy

Philosophy:
The Trustees and the staff of the Bedford Free Public Library welcome children of all ages to use and enjoy our facilities, materials and services.  We endeavor to make the library a warm, inviting and safe place for children.

The library staff is responsible for performing library service duties and cannot be responsible for the care or safety of unattended children.Parents/guardians/caregivers are expected to accompany and directly supervise their children in the library. "Directly supervise” means the child and the caregiver must be able to observe one another at all times. In order to create an environment of safety and maintain an atmosphere where children can enjoy all that the library offers, the following policies have been established:

1. In accordance with Massachusetts General Law 119, Section 39 children ten and under may not be left unattended.

  • A child who is participating in a library program without a parent/caregiver present is not considered unattended if the parent/caregiver is in the building.
  • Toddlers or young children who are left unsupervised while a parent/caregiver is in another area of the building will be considered unattended.
  • Children ten and under who are dropped off at the library without a parent/caregiver or older sibling will be considered unattended.

2. Rules regarding disruptive behavior in the Library’s Patron Behavior Policy apply to children as well. Parents/guardians and caregivers are responsible for the behavior of their children in the library. If the child is disruptive, the child may be asked to leave the library. If not present, the parent or guardian may be contacted.

3. Children must be picked up before the library closes.  Once the library is closed, children cannot wait inside the building and staff is unavailable to stay with children until they are picked up.

4. Staff may contact the Bedford Police Department if a parent or guardian of an unattended child cannot be located.

5. In case of medical emergency when a parent or guardian is not with the child, staff will contact the Bedford Fire Department and then the parent or guardian, in that order.

 

Approved by the Bedford Public Library Board of Trustees: October 8, 2013. Revised August 2014.