Unattended Children Policy


For Children 14 and Under

In Effect as of March 1, 2010

The Cynthiana-Harrison County Public Library welcomes children to use its facilities and services. However, the responsibility for the care, safety and behavior of children using the library rests with the parent/guardian or caregiver. A caregiver must be at least 16 years of age. Library staff members have many duties and cannot supervise children nor act as a substitute for daycare.

While in the library children through age 10 must have a parent or caregiver in the immediate vicinity unless they are participating in a library program. In such cases the parent must remain in the building unless otherwise discussed with a library staff memeber. Children must be attended in the children’s room by their parent/caregiver at all times. Unattended children will be allowed minimal time to look for and check out books. We limit this time to 10 minutes before we will ask that the child inform their caregiver of this policy. These 10 minutes will be used for searching for and checking books out. No other activities will be permitted.

Computers and a printer are available to caregivers who must be at least 16 years old and looking after a child in the children’s room. A staff member finding an unattended child will follow steps 1-7 listed below.

Children of ages 11-14 may use the Library unattended for up to three hours. It is important for staff to take note of disruptions caused by children who apparently are unaccompanied. Parents are still responsible for the actions of their children. Children using inappropriate behavior will be informed of the rules. If inappropriate behavior continues, the child shall be asked to leave the Library. If a child in this age group is unaccompanied by an adult or appropriate-aged caregiver, the staff will follow the directions below for children found on Library premises without a parent or caregiver. All children should have the telephone number of someone who can assist them in an emergency. The library staff may not take responsibility for the care of any age child.

If a child is found without a parent or caregiver, the staff will:

  • Attempt to comfort the child, if necessary.
  • Locate the parent or caregiver in the Library and explain the Unattended Children Policy.
  • Make every effort to contact the parent or caregiver who is not in the Library to come and pick up the child. Staff will express the Library’s concern for the child’s safety and explain the Unattended Children Policy.
  • Call the appropriate Police to pick up the child, if the parent or caregiver cannot be located within 30 minutes. Staff will notify Director that police have been called.
  • Encourage an unattended child to contact the parent or guardian if it is within 15 minutes of closing time. If a parent or caregiver cannot be reached or does not arrive within 15 minutes of closing, Library Staff will call the appropriate Police to pick up the child. Staff will notify Director that police have been called.
  • Remain with the child until the parent or caregiver or police arrive.
  • Not transport any child from the Library to another Location.