Anyone can enter and leave the building without supervision by the library staff. Parents and caregivers must be reminded that libraries are public places. In libraries, as in all public places, "stranger danger" is a real concern.
Library staff cannot prevent children from interacting with or leaving the library with persons who are not appropriate caregivers.
In any situation, parents or caregivers are influenced by various factors whether it is appropriate for a child to be alone in a library, unattended by a responsible caregiver. These factors include:
The child’s age, developmental level, social awareness and general health
The length of time the child is left unattended
How often the child is left alone
Whether the child knows how to contact a parent, neighbor, adult friend or relative, if necessary
Library staff cannot verify the ages of children who come into the facility. If a well-behaved five-year-old plays quietly in a part of the library, staff may not notice that she is unattended. Also, depending on the circumstances, an eight-year-old may require less supervision than a 14-year-old or a disruptive adult.