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Children's Use of the Library Policy

The library staff and trustees have made Cary Library a warm and inviting place for children to develop a love of books, reading, and libraries.  The Children’s Room contains a wide range of materials that are selected for children up through grade 6. The library reminds parents that responsibility for a child’s use of library materials, regardless of format or content, lies with the parent or guardian, not the library.

Parents, guardians, teachers, and other caregivers are responsible for the safety and behavior of their children in the Library, and may not leave children under the age of 8 unattended.  Children under the age of 8 must be supervised by someone aged 15 or older at all times in the library.  These children should remain in sightlines of their caregivers at all times.  Children between the ages of 8 and 12 may be left unattended for up to 2 hours, at the discretion of their parent(s), to complete homework assignments or special projects.  These unattended children must know how to reach their parent(s) or guardian, and their parents should pick them up at least 15 minutes prior to the library’s scheduled closing time. 

If the Library is closing and the parent(s) of children under the age of 12 cannot be located, staff will make a reasonable attempt to contact the parent(s) by phone.  For the child’s protection, if parent(s) cannot be reached, staff will call the Lexington Police.  Two staff members will wait at the rear entrance with the child until the police arrive.  It is the policy of the Library that staff members may not transport children from the Library to any other location.

If children exhibit disruptive behavior, staff will talk with the child about appropriate modifications.  If the behavior persists, parents may be contacted.  Some examples of disruptive behavior include:  running, shouting, screaming, throwing objects, jumping on the furniture, banging on the fish tank glass, or banging on the computer keyboards.  While very uncommon, families with children who resist repeated attempts from staff and parents to modify behavior may be asked to leave and try coming back another day. 

Beverages in covered containers are permitted in the Children’s Room.  Absolutely no food is permitted in the Children’s Room, except during designated programs. Snacks/individual portions of food are limited to designated areas of the library, including the South Lobby, the main level Commons Area, the Teen Room, and the lower level corridor outside of the Children’s Room. Examples of appropriate foods include dry snacks such as pretzels or crackers, granola bars, string cheese, and fruit. Please help us keep the library clean by throwing away trash and alerting staff to any spills that should be cleaned.

Diaper changing must be restricted to the restroom diaper changing tables, located in every Library restroom.  Please place soiled diapers in plastic bags before placing them in the trash.  The Children’s Room can supply plastic bags, if needed.

The play space is provided for use of the community.  Items should be treated with care and returned to their proper storage when use is finished.

Unaccompanied Adults in Youth Services Spaces and Programs

Adults are permitted in the Youth Services areas when accompanied by a youth or if the adult is actively using the collection or space in a way deemed appropriate by the staff. Unaccompanied adults may be asked by library staff to use the facilities, services, and equipment in the adult section of the library. If the individual does not comply with staff direction or repeatedly violates this policy, the individual will be asked to leave and may be banned from the Library. This policy was developed out of concern for the safety of children in the library.

Your Child’s Library Card

Per state law, a child’s library card is granted full privacy rights.  Parents who choose to allow their child to obtain their own library card should be aware of the limitations of what library staff are allowed to reveal to them about the child’s card.  For more information, please review our handout for parents “Your Child’s Library Card”.

"Children’s Use of the Library" was separated from the "Rules of Behavior Policy", revised, and submitted to Library Board of Trustees for approval on 11/6/2019.