Unattended child policy

The trustees of the Champaign County Library are concerned for the well-being of this community’s children, and must affirm that the library staff does not take the place of parents or act as caregiver or baby-sitter, and cannot be responsible for problems resulting from children left unattended.  The trustees and employees of the Champaign County Library will not be held responsible for incidents, accidents, or other liability arising from the action of unattended children.

An unattended child is:

  • One who is unable to care for himself or herself;
  • One who needs close supervision even if a parent or caregiver is elsewhere in the building;
  • One who cannot behave appropriately without adult supervision;
  • One who is not picked up at closing time.


Procedure Concerning Unattended Children in the Library

If a staff member observes a parent or caregiver leaving a child unattended, the staff member will advise against doing so.  This situation would be handled positively, emphasizing our concern for the safety of the child.  This would be an ideal opportunity to give the parent or caregiver a copy of the library flyer that addresses this issue.

If it is determined that a child is left unattended, a staff member shall try to identify and locate the parents or responsible adults.  The following steps shall be followed.

  1. The staff member shall walk around the library with the child, looking for the parent.
  2. If the parent is not found in the building, a staff member will stay with the child until the parent can be found.
  3. When the parent is located, the staff member shall firmly explain the library policy on unattended children.
  4. If the parent have not been located within an hour of the initial determination that the child is unattended, or if the library is closing, the staff member shall call the police.


Procedure for Unattended Children at Closing Time

A child left at closing time without a parent or caregiver in the building should be dealt with in the following way:

  1. Determine if the parent or caregiver is actually not in the building.
  2. If a parent or caregiver is not present, the librarian in charge should obtain the child’s name and phone number if possible.
  3. The library staff member in charge will call the number given by the child and ask that the child be picked up.  Inform the adult that two staff members will stay with the child up to 15 minutes (this is compensated time), after which the police will be called and asked to evaluate the situation and take whatever action they deem necessary.
  4. If the child is unable to give a name or phone number, call the police immediately and ask for their assistance.
  5. If the police are called, two staff members will stay with the child until the police arrive and the situation is evaluated.  This will be compensated time.
  6. If there is no answer to the number given by the child, call the police and ask for their assistance.
  7. If the police take the child to the police station, leave a note on the front door informing the parents of this.
  8. NEVER offer to drive the child home yourself.
  9. NEVER take the child to the police station yourself.

After the second time a family leaves a child at the library unattended, no children from that family will be allowed at the library without a parent or responsible adult.


Adopted 1/11/96