Unattended Child / Vulnerable Adult Policy

Last Updated Date
Policy Type

The Winnetka-Northfield Public Library District is dedicated to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all community members.
All persons aged 9 and older who are able to care for themselves and understand and follow the Patron Behavior Policy are welcome to use the library without accompaniment.

Children under the age of 9 must be accompanied and directly supervised by a parent, guardian, or responsible caregiver while in the library, including during library events, unless directed by staff. The caregiver must be a responsible person aged 14 or older.

Vulnerable adults must be accompanied and directly supervised by an adult over the age of 18 while using the library or attending library events. A vulnerable adult is functionally, mentally, or physically unable to care for themselves without supervision. Library facilities are not licensed to provide adult care and staff is not trained to assist with care-related tasks.

“Directly supervised” means the child and the parent or caregiver or vulnerable adult and caregiver must be able to observe one another at all times.
If it is determined that a child under the age of 9 or a vulnerable adult is in the library without an appropriate parent, guardian, or caregiver, staff will attempt to locate or contact the parent, guardian, or caregiver. If the parent, guardian, or caregiver cannot be located or contacted within 30 minutes, the police will be contacted and asked to assist. In addition, staff is authorized to contact the police at any time the safety of a child under 9 or vulnerable adult is in doubt.

In the event a parent, guardian, or caregiver cannot be contacted or located at the time the library closes, staff will contact the police for assistance and two staff members will wait with the child under 9 or vulnerable adult until police arrive.
Violation of this policy is grounds for suspension of library privileges.

Approved: October 20, 2003
Revised: August 16, 2021

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