The Shaker Heights Public Library welcomes children to use its facilities and services. However, the responsibility for the care, safety and behavior of children using the library rests with the parent/guardian or caregiver. A caregiver must be at least 12 years of age and able to attend to the child’s health, safety, and behavior. Children under ten, especially, should be closely supervised by a parent or responsible caregiver who is within sight of the child.
Teachers, daycare providers, or other youth leaders may not leave groups of unattended students in the library, regardless of the age of the students.
The library provides staff to help children and their caregivers to use the library and its resources. Library staff cannot monitor, supervise, or entertain individual children or groups of children. Library staff is not responsible for determining whether an apparent caregiver is a legally authorized caregiver, custodian, or custodial parent of a child.
On a case by case basis, if library staff determines that a child is unattended, vulnerable or disruptive, the staff will make a reasonable effort to locate the adult responsible for the child within the library. Library personnel have the option of calling the police for assistance if the parent or guardian is not located within fifteen minutes of the staff’s awareness that the child is unattended.
If a child is left unattended at closing time, staff will make a reasonable effort to locate the parent/guardian. If the parent/guardian has not arrived by the posted closing time, staff will turn the child over to the Shaker Heights Police Department. At no time may library staff transport customers of any age. At closing the building is locked, and no one is available to oversee the exterior or adjacent grounds. Parents should be aware of the library’s hours and keep in mind that those hours may change due to holiday schedules, inclement weather, or other unforeseen emergencies.
All library visitors are expected to adhere to the Code of Conduct. Youth are welcome and encouraged to use the library independently, provided they can work without supervision and without disturbing others. Disruptive behavior is any behavior that library personnel deem interferes with customers’ full use of library services or the ability of staff to carry out their duties. Such behavior includes: using a loud voice, screaming, crying, or shouting; running; throwing objects; misuse of library materials, furniture, or equipment; eating or drinking outside of designated areas; littering; rude or abusive language.
Library staff will ask the accompanying adult to regulate the behavior of a disruptive youth in his or her charge; if the behavior persists, adult and child will be asked to leave. Youth who are not accompanied by an adult and who violate the Code of Conduct will be asked to leave the library for the day. In the event that disruptive youth refuse to comply with directives from library staff, the police will be called.
Approved by the Shaker Heights Public Library Board of Trustees 4/8/1996, 12/14/2010, 10/15/2018