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Children and Teens in the Library

We are committed to providing inviting, safe, and separate spaces for children and teens. Children and teens have designated areas at our libraries for individual and group activities that meet their unique needs.

Children’s areas are designed and reserved for the use of those under 18 and their caregivers. Teen areas may only be used by customers 12 - 17 years old or those still in high school. Anyone over 18 may only visit these spaces to use the collection, seek assistance from library staff, or attend a program with staff’s approval.

Unattended Children

Our libraries welcome children of all ages to use our facilities and services. However, the responsibility for the care, safety, and behavior of children using the library rests with the parent, legal guardian, or designated caregiver. The safety of children left alone in a library building is a serious concern of the library staff. The library is a public building, open to all. It is not in the child’s best interest to be left unsupervised.

For the safety and comfort of children, a parent, legal guardian, or designated caregiver must accompany children while they are using the library. Young children may not be left unattended anywhere in the library, including areas designated for children. We ask for your cooperation in keeping the library a safe and happy place for all children.

Staff will be guided by this policy in situations such as:

  • An unattended child is found frightened or crying in the library
  • An unattended child is perceived to be endangering themselves or others
  • Another person in the library poses a perceived threat to an unattended child

After evaluating the situation, staff will make a reasonable attempt to call the caregiver. If no one can be reached, staff will contact local law enforcement officials to assume responsibility for the child. Staff will wait with the child until law enforcement officers arrive.

Caregivers must pick children up at least 5 minutes before the library’s posted closing time. If a child is alone at closing time, the staff will attempt to call the parent, legal guardian, or designated caregiver. If no one can be reached on the first attempt, the staff will contact local law enforcement officials to assume responsibility for the child. Staff will remain with the child inside the library entrance until law enforcement officials arrive.


Teen HQ has three spaces that have additional guidelines: the Makerspace, Recording Studio, and Gamer Lounge. Information about using those spaces can be found on the TeenHQ webpage.

Using the Internet and Borrowing Materials

Parents or legal guardians must assume responsibility for deciding what library resources (books, internet, media) are appropriate for their own children. They are responsible for guiding their own children’s usage of library resources in accordance with individual family beliefs.

The library has web pages for children and young adults that provide content and links to other websites that parents and legal guardians may find appropriate for their children. For more information on children and the internet, see our Resources for Parents and Educators.

Revised March 2019