Statement of Philosophy

Copiah-Jefferson Regional Library welcomes children of all ages. It is a doorway through which life-long learning takes place. The library is a public building and, as such, everyone is welcome.  

Children in the library should make effective use of the library. Effective use includes reading books or magazines, using computers, or working on special reading or writing assignments.  

Library staff members have many duties to perform in order to serve all the citizens of the Copiah and Jefferson county area. They cannot monitor the behavior or whereabouts of each patron, including children. Staff members do not take over parental responsibilities for children who come into the library.  Library facilities are not designed or licensed to provide basic childcare needs or emergency care if the child becomes upset or ill.

A child could be tempted to go off with a stranger. A child could become ill. A child could get mixed in with a school group and become lost. If they wander through the building they may encounter hazards such as stairs, doors, furniture or electrical equipment. They may also become bored and restless and could disturb the enjoyment and work of others. Any of these or other emergencies could take place in a public building. It is for the safety of each child that the Copiah-Jefferson Regional Library has adopted this Safe Child Policy.


Statement of Safe Child Policy

Children of all ages should have the telephone number of someone who can assist them in an emergency.

REGULAR LIBRARY ATTENDANCE

Parents/caregivers are responsible for the child's behavior at all times while on library property. A caregiver is defined as an individual at least 16 years of age who acknowledges this responsibility for the child. Children 8 years of age or younger must remain in the company of the parent or caregiver.

Children age 9 and older may use the library on their own. However, parents are still responsible for the actions and the well-being of their child(ren).  

PROGRAM ATTENDANCE

A child 5 years or younger who is attending a library program need not be accompanied into that program by a parent/caregiver, unless otherwise indicated. Parents/caregivers must, however, be present in the building during the programming in case an emergency should arise.

A child 6-8 years of age who is attending a library program need not be accompanied into the program by a parent/caregiver, unless otherwise indicated. Parents/caregivers who leave the library property must return to pick up their child(ren) at the posted end-of-program time.  The library is not responsible for monitoring children 6-8 who are left unescorted after a program’s posted end time.  

Children under the age of 9 who are left unescorted after a program’s posted end time will fall under the policies outlined in the UNSUPERVISED CHILDREN section of the CJRL policy manual.  

Due to the large volume of activity occurring during and after library programs, the library staff cannot be responsible for insuring the credibility/appropriateness of individuals who pick up children from programs.

Unsupervised Children

UNSUPERVISED CHILDREN DURING HOURS OF OPERATION

Due to our great concern for the welfare of children in our community and our equal concern for welfare of the employees supervising branch operations, Copiah-Jefferson Regional Library prohibits parents/guardians from leaving children under the age of 9 on library property without a supervising escort of age 16 years or older.   In an instance where a child under the age of 9 is found to be unescorted during library hours, library staff will attempt to establish immediate contact with the child’s parent(s).   When contact can not be established or the parent does not respond within fifteen minutes of initial contact, police authorities will be contacted to establish their authority over the well-being of the child.  

When an escort is located, the escort will be given a copy of the SAFE CHILD POLICY.   Staff will record the escort’s (and/or parent/guardian) name, address, telephone number and the child's name.  Staff will refer any additional incidents to the police.

Copiah-Jefferson Regional Library is not responsible for supervising the activities of unsupervised children on library property, other than supervision that would be equally applied to adults and would be in accordance with library policies.  The library can in no way restrict and underage child from leaving the library property at his/her own instigation, should the child insist on doing so.

UNSUPERVISED CHILDREN AFTER HOURS OF OPERATION

Due to our great concern for the welfare of children in our community and our equal concern for welfare of the employees supervising branch operations, Copiah-Jefferson Regional Library prohibits parents/guardians from leaving children under the age of 18 on library property when library hours of operation have ceased.   Parents are responsible for being aware of the times the Library opens and closes.  

Library staff will verbally and publically notify all patrons visiting a branch when the library is within thirty minutes of closing.  This notification will provide ample time for visiting children to make contact with parents/guardians for pickup arrangements, if needed.  

When a child under the age of 18 is found on library property when library hours of operation have ceased, police authorities will immediately be contacted to establish their authority over the well-being of the child.  Staff will record the parent's/caregiver's name, address, telephone number and the child's name.  When an escort is located, the escort will be given a copy of the SAFE CHILD POLICY.

Library staff members never give rides to these children or leave them alone in the building or on the library grounds.

Copiah-Jefferson Regional Library is not responsible for supervising the activities of unsupervised children on library property, other than supervision that would be equally applied to adults and would be in accordance with library policies.  The library can in no way restrict and underage child from leaving the library property at his/her own instigation, should the child insist on doing so.

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