CHILDREN  AND VULNERABLE ADULTS IN THE LIBRARY POLICY
Adopted May 2021

  1. Purpose.
    Children and vulnerable adults are welcome and encouraged to use the Suttons Bay Bingham District Library (“Library”) at all times. The Library desires to make each visit an important one.  The Suttons Bay Bingham District Library Board (“Library Board”) adopts the following Children and Vulnerable Adults in the Library Policy (“Policy”) with regard to children and vulnerable adults at the Library.
  2. Definitions.
    A. “Child” means a minor under the age of 18.
    B. “Vulnerable Adult” means an individual age 18 or over who, because of developmental disability, mental illness, physical disability or other similar reasons, (1) requires supervision or personal care or (2) lacks the personal and social skills required to live independently.
    C. “Responsible Caregiver” is an individual who is responsible for monitoring or caring for a child or vulnerable adult and who must be at least 14 years old.

III.       Rules and Regulations Regarding Children.

  1. All patrons, including children, are expected to comply with the Library’s policies, including its Patron Behavior Policy. Parents, guardians or Responsible Caregivers shall review and be fully aware of all Library policies governing children, particularly the Internet Use Policy.
  2. Parents, guardians or Responsible Caregivers are responsible for the behavior and supervision of their children regardless of age while in the Library or taking part in a Library program.
  3. Library Staff will not be expected to supervise or monitor children’s behavior.
  4. Children under the age of 10 must be attended by a parent, guardian or Responsible Caregiver. The parent, guardian or Responsible Caregiver shall remain in the Library at all times.   If a child under the age of 10 is attending a Library-sponsored program, the parent, guardian or Responsible Caregiver is to remain on the premises for the duration of the program.
  5. Children of any age who, because of developmental disability, mental illness, physical disability or other similar reason, require supervision or personal care shall be attended by a parent, guardian or Responsible Caregiver at all times.
  6. Children ages 8 and under must be within the visual contact of a parent, guardian or Responsible Caregiver at all times, including during programs and visits to the restroom.
  7. Staff will not be responsible if unattended children of any age leave the Library premises alone or with other persons. Further, staff will not be responsible for children who may be asked to leave the Library if the child is in violation of Library policy.
  8. We request that all unattended children be picked up at least ten minutes before closing time. Parents, guardians and Responsible Caregivers need to be aware of when the Library closes.
  9. Children 10 years or older must have contact information for a parent, guardian or Responsible Caregiver if they are unattended at the Library. It is a violation of Library policy not to come immediately and pick up your unattended child if the Library calls.

III.       Rules and Regulations Regarding Vulnerable Adults.

  1. All patrons, including vulnerable adults are expected to comply with the Library’s policies, including its Patron Behavior Policy. Parents, guardians or Responsible Caregivers shall review and be fully aware of all Library policies, particularly the Internet Use Policy.
  2. Parents, guardians and Responsible Caregivers are responsible for the behavior and supervision of the vulnerable adult in their care while in the Library or taking part in a Library program.
  3. Vulnerable adults who are unable or unwilling to care for themselves or who do not have the ability to use the Library independently may not be left alone in the Library and must have adequate supervision while in the Library.
  4. Vulnerable adults who can understand and follow the Patron Behavior Policy and who can care for themselves are allowed to be in the Library unattended. They must have contact information for someone who can assist them in an emergency.
  5. We request that all vulnerable adults be picked up at least ten minutes before closing time. Parents, guardians and Responsible Caregivers need to be aware of when the Library closes.
  6. Vulnerable adults must have contact information for someone who can assist them if they are unattended at the Library. It is a violation of Library policy not to come immediately and pick up your vulnerable adult if the Library calls.

    IV. Contact with Parent, Guardian or Responsible Caregiver for Unattended Child or Vulnerable Adult.

A. Library staff will attempt to contact a parent, guardian, or Responsible Caregiver when:

  1. A child under the age of 10 or a vulnerable adult unable to use the Library independently is left unattended at the Library.
  2. The health or safety of an unattended child or vulnerable adult is in doubt.
  3. A child or vulnerable adult is frightened while alone at the Library.
  4. The behavior of an unattended child or vulnerable adult violates Library policy.
  5. The unattended child or vulnerable adult has not been met by a parent, guardian or Responsible Caregiver at closing time. A child is considered unattended at closing time if the child is under the age of 10 or a child of any age needs assistance procuring transportation. An individual is considered an unattended vulnerable adult when they need assistance procuring transportation.B. If the parent, guardian or Responsible Caregiver can be reached within 15 minutes and arrives in a reasonable time, the staff member shall explain the Library’s policy.

    C. If a parent, guardian or Responsible Caregiver cannot be reached within 15 minutes, fails to arrive within a reasonable time after being contacted, or arrives 30 minutes or more after the Library closes, Library staff will contact law enforcement officials to take charge of the situation involving the unattended child or vulnerable adult. Library employees are not permitted to transport a child or vulnerable adult under any circumstances.

    D. A Library staff member shall remain with the unattended child or vulnerable adult until the parent, guardian, Responsible Caregiver or law enforcement arrives.

V. Violation; Enforcement; Appeal.

The Library Director or the Library Director’s designee may restrict access to Library facilities with immediate dismissal of the patron from the premises, by suspending the patron’s access to Library facilities for a set period of time, or by denying access to specific services and/or programs for violations this Policy.  When necessary, law enforcement may be called to intervene.

  1. Incident Reports. Library staff shall record in writing in the form of an Incident Report any violation of this Policy which resulted in any restriction of Library privileges or in contacting law enforcement.  By the end of the day on which the incident occurred, an Incident Report shall be written and forwarded to the Library Director.  The report should include a name and physical descriptions of the individual.  A copy of the restriction of Library privileges letter should be attached, if applicable.
  2. Violation of the Policy – Restriction of Privileges. Even if law enforcement have been called to intervene, the Library may still take action to restrict privileges for violations as follows:
    1. Initial Violation: An individual observed violating this Policy will be asked to cease the violation with a verbal request.  If the patron does not comply with the request, they will be asked to leave the building for the day.  If they refuse, law enforcement may be called.
    2. Subsequent Violations: The Library Director or the Library Director’s authorized designee may further restrict the individual’s Library privileges if infractions continue.  Any limitation or suspension of privileges shall be in writing specifying the nature of the violation and specific limitation or suspension.  Subsequent violations of the same rule shall result in increasing restrictions.C. Reinstatement. The individual whose privileges have been limited or suspended shall attend a meeting with the Library Director or the Library Director’s designee to review Library policies before their privileges may be reinstated.  The Library Director may impose conditions for the reinstatement.

    D. Right of Appeal. Patrons may appeal (1) a decision to limit or suspend privileges or (2) the conditions placed on reinstatement by sending a written appeal to the Library Board within ten (10) business days of the date of the decision.  The appeal should be sent to the President of the Library Board.  The decision of the Library Board is final.