Child Safety Policy

Purpose

The Milton Public Library is dedicated to providing a welcoming and safe environment for customers of all ages. It is for the safety of each child that the Library has adopted this Safe Child Policy.

The Milton Public Library wants children to use its facilities and services. Children in the library should always be accompanied by a parent, a guardian, or an assigned caregiver who is no less than 12 years of age. The responsibility for the safety and behavior of children in the library rests with the parent, guardian, or caregiver and not with the library staff.

Policy

The Milton Public Library regards online social software applications in the same way as its other information resources in accordance with its mission of serving Milton's needs for connecting people, ideas, and information. As with more traditional resources, the Library does not act in place of or in the absence of a parent. The Library is not responsible for enforcing any restrictions which a parent or guardian may place on a minor's use of this resource.

Scope

Children up to age 8 must have a parent, guardian, or caregiver in the immediate vicinity of, and in visual contact with, the child. An exception would be children attending a library programme. The parent, guardian, or caregiver is expected to remain in the library building and immediately join the child at the end of the programme.

If a child in this age group is found unattended, library staff will attempt to locate the parent, guardian, or caregiver in the library and inform him/her of the policy. If the parent, guardian, or caregiver cannot be found, or if the child is found unattended again, the police will be called for assistance.

Sharing the Library environment with other people requires that everyone follow the Library Code of Conduct established by the Library Board and posted in each library building and on the library website. If a child in this age group violates the Library Code of Conduct, the child and the parent, guardian, or caregiver will be informed of the code. If inappropriate behavior continues, the family may be asked to leave the library.

Children age 8 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). Children using inappropriate behavior may be asked to leave the library. If a child in this age group is not able to leave the library without an adult, he/she should not be in the library alone. All children should have the telephone number of someone who can assist them in an emergency.

Teenagers, ages 13 to 17, are treated as adult users. However, they are still legally the responsibility of their parents and should have an emergency contact available.

Library staff are obligated by the Ontario Child and Family Services Act to call the Police or the Halton Children's Aid Society if a child is in need of protection.

Milton Public Library Board
Issued December 2011