Safety of Children Policy


Safety of Children Policy

The Platteville Public Library welcomes visitors of all ages. Responsibility for the safety and the behavior of children using the library ultimately rests with the parent/legal guardian or other assigned caregiver.

Library staff work to engage children, families, and teens in positive ways, and provide support while they are in the Library. All patrons are expected to abide by the library’s Public Behavior Policy to maintain a pleasant, safe, and respectful environment.

The Platteville Public Library Board endorses the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights. Library staff are trained to assist children in using the Library but cannot assume responsibility for the safety and well-being of children left unattended in the building. Parents, guardians, or responsible caregivers need to use the same caution with their children at the library as they would in any other public setting. Parents or caregivers are responsible for supervising their child’s access to all library resources including the Internet.

General Guidelines

Children under the age of 9 must be accompanied by a caregiver 14 years of age or older while in the Library. Children under the age of 9 must have a parent or caregiver in the immediate vicinity. The library recommends that children using the library independently have the telephone number of someone who can assist them in an emergency and have a library card account with up-to-date contact information. Children age 9 and over are welcome to use the library independently, but parents are still responsible for the behavior of any children while in the library.

Custodial guardians must ensure that children requiring supervision are brought to the library with a responsible caregiver.

Staff may, as needed:

  • Use reasonable judgment when estimating the age of a child or work with a child to determine their age.
  • Inform children behaving inappropriately of the library rules.
  • Ask children to leave if they are behaving inappropriately.
  • Attempt to notify parents, guardians, or responsible caregivers when their children need additional supervision.
  • Contact the Police to assist with violations of the Public Behavior Policy or to ensure the safety of unattended children.

Individuals Needing Transportation at Closing

If a child is left at the library at closing time or in the event of an emergency situation, the staff person in charge will attempt to contact the parents or caregivers. If the parent or adult caregivers cannot be contacted within 10 minutes after closing, staff will notify the police. At Library closing, a minimum of two staff members will remain with any unattended child for no longer than 15 minutes past closing. If a responsible party does not arrive to claim the child, the Platteville Police Department will be called, and the child will be released to police custody. Library staff will not transport or take any child away from the Library building.

Requests for Information Regarding Truant Children

The library does not encourage or condone truancy, but it is not the responsibility of Library staff to enforce truancy ordinances. As a public facility, the library does not monitor the activities of its visitors unless there is a problem with conduct or a child is inappropriately left alone as outlined above.

Requests for Information Regarding Missing Children/Runaways

Staff will not give information to any person as to whether a child is currently in the library or has been in the library recently. Staff may offer to take a message and ask the child to call the person back. In the case of a missing child, the library’s staff in charge may share information with the law enforcement agency requesting specific personal information.

Approved by the Platteville Public Library Board of Trustees, February 7, 2024