Unattended Children Policy
The library is a public building, and as in all public places, it is not safe for young children to be left alone. Although children and adults are equally welcome at Fort Bend County Libraries (FBCL), responsibility for the safety, well-being and behavior of children while on the premises of the library rests with the parent, guardian or caregiver, and not with the library staff. Neither the library nor library staff assumes the role of a parent, known as in loco parentis, nor do they assume the role of a daycare or childcare provider.
Many materials, programs and services are offered to make the library enjoyable for children and to help them develop a love of books, reading and libraries. However, when children are left unattended at the library, any number of problems may arise. Young children may become frightened, tired, bored or disruptive. Children who are left unattended in the building may encounter potential hazards such as stairs, electrical outlets, or automatic doors, to name a few. If an unattended child has a medical emergency, the library staff cannot take legal responsibility, other than to call 911.
There may be times when the library must close due to an emergency such as a storm or power outage. In such instances, library staff will be on the alert for any child in need of assistance and will make every effort to contact a responsible adult. However, staff members are prohibited from transporting children in their vehicles. Additionally, “Stranger Danger” is a serious concern in any public setting, including the library. Library staff have no way of knowing if a child is interacting with or leaving the building with a stranger.
It is the intention of this policy to enlist the cooperation of parents and other adults responsible for children, to ensure that Fort Bend County Libraries provides a safe and pleasant experience for all who use it. To that end, Fort Bend County Libraries has adopted the following policy:
Approved by Commisssioners Court February 26, 2008