Unattended Children Policy
The District of Columbia Public Library welcomes the use of its services and facilities by children of all ages. The staff is dedicated to making the Library a welcoming place and to providing quality service to all of its customers.
- Responsibility for the safety and behavior of all children using the library rests with the parent/guardian or assigned chaperone, not with the library staff.
- Children eight (8) years of age and younger shall, at all times, be attended and directly supervised by a parent/guardian or assigned chaperone age thirteen (13) or older. If children eight (8) years of age and younger are left unattended, staff will attempt to reach their parents/guardian. If they cannot be reached, proper authorities will be contacted.
- Children over eight (8) years may use the library unattended providing they are able to follow library rules and observe proper conduct. Children, like all library users, are required to respect library property and act in a manner appropriate to the use and function of the library.
- Children using inappropriate behavior will be informed of the rules. If the inappropriate behavior continues, misbehaving children may be asked to leave the facility. After dark, an attempt to contact a parent/guardian will be made. If they cannot be reached, proper authorities will be contacted. In serious cases of misbehavior, children will be asked to leave the library according to the behavior guideline matrix.
- Children of any age with mental, physical or emotional disabilities that affect decision-making skills or render supervision necessary must be accompanied by a parent/guardian or assigned chaperone at all times.
- Any minor child left at the library without transportation at closing time will be referred to the police. Under no circumstances will library staff transport or take a minor away from the library building.
- The library is not responsible for children outside the library socializing or awaiting transportation.
- In case of a medical emergency involving unattended minors, library staff will call 911 for help. Emergency personnel, upon their arrival at the library, will be informed that the child is not accompanied by a parent/guardian or responsible chaperone.