Children alone in the library

Last revised 06.02.04

Guidelines for Parents and Staff

The Multnomah County Library welcomes children. Library staff members are trained to help children with library materials and services. We want to provide a safe and appropriate environment for all library users. However, each of our libraries is a public building. The library does not have facilities or staffing to provide childcare and childcare is not the library's role.

Parents and caregivers are responsible for the safety, comfort and behavior of their children while in the library. Please make sure your child comes to the library with a responsible person.

Library staff members will take the actions outlined below in these or similar situations:

  • A child is alone and frightened or crying in the library
  • A child is alone and doing something dangerous, or another person in the library seems to be a danger to the child
  • A child is alone and is not following library rules
  • No caregiver comes to pick a child up at closing time
  • Any child under the age of six is alone in the library. (See Behavior rules governing use of Multnomah County Library.)

Library staff members will evaluate the situation and try to contact the child's parent or guardian. If staff cannot reach the parent or guardian, they will place the child in the care of the appropriate local law enforcement agency.