Policy Prohibiting Disruptive or Unattended Children in the Library

Children are our future, and it is important that we provide the best care for them; in libraries we aim to nurture young minds and provide the best library service possible. Busy public access buildings are not always secure places for children to be left alone and library staff is not responsible for a child’s safety in the absence of a parent or guardian. The library does not have sufficient staff to continually monitor children or act in the place of a parent.

Unattended children or disruptive children can create problems for themselves and others because they are too young to be left unsupervised or they are misbehaving, making it difficult for others to enjoy using the library. Even an older child can become hungry, distracted or frightened when left alone. In general, children age 12 and under should not be left unattended anywhere in the library. The Alvin Sherman Library, Research, and Information Technology Center and/or Nova Southeastern University are not responsible for any child left unattended at the library.

Parents/adult caregivers should observe the following guidelines:

  • Teach your children their address and telephone number at home and at work so you can be reached in case of emergency.
  • Accompany children 12 and under to the library and stay with them or send them in the company of an adult caregiver.
  • Pick up your older children 13 or older before library closing time, which is posted at the entrance and on the library’s website. For liability reasons, and in keeping with this policy, the librarian is not permitted to stay with any child after closing. Local law enforcement or the State of Florida Department of Children and Families will be called to handle any situation where any child age 12 and under is left unattended in the library during library hours when it is open to the public or is left in the library after closing time.

Parents/adult caregivers are responsible for their children’s behavior. Examples of disruptive behavior include but are not limited to screaming, excessive crying, running, fighting, climbing on furniture and/or artwork etc. Please see Library Code of Conduct Policy for further details. Disruptive children may be asked to leave the library. In the cases of children 12 and under whose behavior might at times be disturbing to others, library staff may request that the adult caregiver remove the child from the building temporarily.