Children at the JML
The Jackson Memorial Library is dedicated to providing a welcoming and safe environment for library patrons of all ages. Sharing this environment with other people requires everyone to follow library policies established by the JML Board and available in the library and on its website.
The JML wants children to love the library and enjoy its programs and services. Children are welcomed with snacks after school, special programs, books, videos, toys, and access to computers for users who can demonstrate proficiency.
The safety of children left alone in a library building is a serious concern of the library staff. Therefore children are asked NOT to wander through the building, where they may encounter hazards such as stairs, doors, furniture, or electrical equipment. They are also asked NOT to leave the building and wander outside, except to be picked up or to return to the school for sports or other sanctioned events.
Library employees and volunteers cannot be responsible for children who are unattended or are demonstrating inappropriate behavior. The following guidelines will be followed concerning the care and behavior of young library users:
Children under the age of 9 must be accompanied by a parent or other responsible adult, or an older brother, sister or babysitter at least 14 years of age who stays in the immediate vicinity in visual contact with the child. An exception would be a child attending a library program without a parent/caregiver in the room. However, the parent/caregiver is expected to remain in the library building and immediately join the child at the end of the program. The assigned caregiver must be a responsible person and must carry emergency contact information.
If a child in this age group is found unattended, library staff will attempt to locate the parent/caregiver in the library and inform him/her of the rules. If the parent/caregiver cannot be found, or if the child is found unattended again, the sheriff’s office may be called for assistance.
Children age 9 and older may use the library on their own, except during school hours, unless when with a class and accompanied by a teacher. In accordance with JML policy, any patrons, including children, using inappropriate behavior may be asked to leave the library. All unaccompanied children at the library should have the telephone number of someone who can assist them in an emergency.
After-school programs are offered several weekday afternoons. Children are encouraged to enjoy snacks, participate in activities, read, visit quietly with each other, do homework, use the computers. They are required to observe all JML rules of conduct, and are asked NOT to wander inside or outside the building or engage in any activity that disturbs others. Parents should note that JML staff is not responsible for monitoring whether children work on homework assignments. Children participating in after-school programs must be picked up by 4:30.
Home-Schooled Students. In order to use the JML alone during school hours, home-schooled children aged 9 to 17 are required to have a letter with them from the parent/guardian stating the child is home-schooled. The letter must include emergency contact information. The parent/guardian and/or the school district may be called by JML staff to confirm the home school status. If the child has a Virtual School or other online school ID, they may log into their account as proof of home-school status.
The final responsibility for the safety and behavior of children in the library rests with the parent/caregiver and not with library personnel. Parents should be sure their children, whether accompanied or alone, understand and abide by the policies of the JML.