The Dickinson Memorial Library is committed to providing a wide range of services and programs to all library users, regardless of age. This policy on child safety is not intended to restrict library service to children. This policy was adopted to ensure the general safety and well-being of all children who use the library and to ensure a welcoming environment for all. 

This policy is subject to revision as needed. 

Children at the Library Without Parents or Guardians
Children under the age of 8 must be accompanied by an adult at all times. The library staff is responsible for performing library service duties and cannot be responsible for the care or safety of unattended children. The library cares for your children’s safety and well-being. However, staff cannot do two jobs at once, especially in our historic building which has many separate rooms and corners. We cannot see all patrons at all times.

The Library is a public building open to all, but we are not an after school program. Library staff cannot be responsible for regulating when or with whom children leave the library building. The library is also not responsible if children choose to leave the building on their own.

Unattended children will be expected to follow our Behavior Expectations. In addition, they should know how to contact their parents or guardians. If your child cannot be responsible for their own needs, they should not be at the library unattended.

Parents of all children under the age of 12 attending Kids’ Fridays or coming to the library regularly after school must register their children with the library. Registration forms can be found on the library’s website or at the circulation desk. 

Internet and Computer Use
Parents and guardians are responsible for how their children use the computers and internet. Patrons of all ages are expected to follow the Internet Use and Safety Policy.

When Behavior Expectations Are Not Met
A child who is violating the behavior guidelines will be given one warning. If a child does not modify their behavior after one warning, the parent or guardian will be notified and asked to remind their child of the behavior guidelines. If the child can still not follow the guidelines, they will no longer be allowed to use the library unattended.

Closing Time
Parents or guardians should be aware of library hours so that children can be picked up before the library closes. If any child is not picked up by closing time, the library staff will make every effort to contact the parents. If staff is unable to reach the parents, a staff member will wait a maximum of 15 minutes for parents to pick up the child. If the child is still not picked up, the Northfield Police Department will be called to escort the child home or stay with the child until a parent or guardian has arrived.