Safe Child Policy

The Augusta County Library welcomes you and your children and wants you to have a good experience in our libraries. Please be aware that we are not a childcare facility. The library is a public building open to all. Your child’s safety cannot be assured or assumed. Differences in child development as well as emotional or social difficulty will affect whether a child may be expected to use the library without adult supervision.

The following will serve as guidelines for the staff to use in their dealings with children and their parents:

  1. Children age 7 and under must be accompanied by an older responsible individual at all times in all areas of the library, except when attending a scheduled library program.
  1. Children’s behavior should be supervised by a parent, guardian or other responsible adult during their entire stay in the library. If it has been determined that a child age 7 or under has been left unattended in the library, the staff may question the child as to the location of his/her parent or responsible party. The parent or other responsible adult will be paged and made aware of acceptable library behavior and their supervisory responsibilities while in the library. In cases where the child’s immediate safety is at risk, problems will be brought to the attention of the Reference Librarian or Director.
  1. Children age 8 – 12 must be accompanied by an adult somewhere on the library premises.
  1. If an older child is in the library without a responsible adult and has not listened to a previous warning about unacceptable behavior, staff may ask for his/her name and parent’s phone number. The child will be told that his/her parents will be called if the unacceptable actions continue. If the misbehavior continues, the reference librarian will call the parent.
  1. If a child is left unattended at closing, or in the event of an early, emergency closing, the staff may not take the child home. The child will be allowed to call the parent and two staff members will wait with the child in the building until the arrival of the parent or guardian. If there is a significant delay or confusion, the sheriff’s office will be called.

Access to Children’s Areas

The Children’s area of the Library is specifically designed to serve the needs of young customers. Adults in that area not using Children’s materials or not using the area for the purpose intended will be asked to use other areas of the Library. Staff members will place the safety of children first.

Adopted by the Library Board 01/23/92, Revised 09/16/09, 07/23/15, 07/26/2018