St. Louis Public Library encourages children to visit and is dedicated to providing a safe and welcoming environment for them. As long as children act in accordance with the Appropriate Use of the Library policy, they may use the Library’s resources at any time it is open, consistent with other guidelines regarding Library resources. Library staff members are not responsible for the care of unsupervised children. Parents, guardians, and caregivers are responsible for the behavior of children in the Library; teachers are responsible for the conduct of their students while they are in the Library for a class visit or tour. When the Library offers camps, Library staff and partners are responsible for registered campers unless otherwise indicated.
The Library welcomes the enthusiasm children bring to the Library environment and recognizes that children occasionally need to be reminded of expectations for appropriate noise levels and behavior. Children who are unable to meet these expectations after reminders may be asked to leave the Library. Children who are not able to safely and appropriately use the Library by themselves must be actively supervised by a parent, guardian or caregiver. Active supervision involves being in the immediate vicinity of and in visual contact with the child and responding to behavioral or other needs expressed by the child.
SLPL requires all visitors, including children, to comply with all Library policies. Please also note the following:
- Parents, guardians and caregivers are responsible for noting scheduled Library closing times and should be aware that a Library facility may have to close unexpectedly due to emergencies or safety issues.
- Library staff may call the police non-emergency number or the Crisis Response Unit if a child is left unattended when a Library facility closes or otherwise appears to be unwilling or unable to care for themselves, and staff are unable to contact a parent, guardian or caregiver.
- SLPL does not encourage or condone truancy, but it is not the responsibility of Library staff to enforce truancy ordinances. However, some of our public safety officers are obligated to do so.
- Anyone, including Library employees, with reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect, may report the abuse. Some of our public safety officers are mandated reporters of child abuse or neglect.
Adopted by the Board of Directors, February 2023.