Safe Child Act Policy
The Library encourages children and vulnerable adults to use its facilities and services. The Library Board of Trustees and staff supports the safety and well-being of our young patrons and vulnerable adults; it is necessary for parents and caregivers to do their part to insure that this is so, too. The staff and trustees hope that the children and vulnerable adults who use the Marlboro Free Library will perceive the Library as a warm, welcoming, and fun place to visit. We encourage all families to take advantage of the tremendous resources the Marlboro Free Library has to offer.
The Marlboro Free Library is not a childcare provider but a public institution where all patrons have an equal right to quality Library services. The happiness and safety of young children and vulnerable adults left alone at the Library can, however, be a serious concern. The staff seeks to create a welcoming and comforting atmosphere. Yet the Library is a public building, and as such it could be a dangerous place for children and vulnerable adults left alone. Library staff cannot know if children or vulnerable adults are leaving the building with parents, with caretakers, with family, or with strangers. For the protection and well-being of children and vulnerable adults who enjoy the Library, the following Safe Child and Vulnerable Adult Policy has been established.
The Marlboro Free Library welcomes children of all ages and vulnerable adults to use its facilities and services. Responsibility for children and vulnerable adults rests at all times with the parent(s) or assigned caregiver(s), not with Library personnel.
Note that a caregiver must be at least 14 years of age. It is the intention of this policy to enlist the cooperation of parents and other adults responsible for children and vulnerable adults to ensure that the Marlboro Free Library provides a safe and pleasant experience for all who use it. The Library staff is not responsible for the supervision of children and vulnerable adults, but will intervene if aware of a problem, as outlined in the Library Public Conduct Policy.
Children aged 10 or under must be continually attended by an adult. The Library cannot assume responsibility for the safety of young children. Staff should not be put in the position of supervising children too young to be left unattended.
Children aged 11 or over and vulnerable adults may be left unattended, at the discretion of a responsible adult. If the adult feels it is unsafe for the child or vulnerable adult to leave the building without adult supervision, the child or vulnerable adult should not be in the Library unattended. The child or unattended vulnerable adult will be asked to leave the premises if proper behavior is not maintained. Children and vulnerable adults must know how to reach an adult (parent, caregiver, etc.) in case of an emergency, and both child or vulnerable adult and caregiving adult should be aware of the Library hours. At closing time, per the Library’s Use of the Library Policy, the police will be notified to escort unattended children or unattended vulnerable adults from the Library.
Children attending programs are supervised by the Library staff only during the scheduled time of the program. For young children under the age of 5 years attending a library program, the parent and/or caregiver is required to remain in the Library throughout the program.
*A vulnerable adult is an individual over the age of 18 who is mentally or physically challenged to a degree that significantly impairs the individual’s ability to provide adequately for his/her own care or manage his/her own behavior without assistance.
Based on policies from the North Adams, MA Public Library, the Seekonk, MA Public Library, and others