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CHILD SAFETY POLICY

Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Lake County Public Library May 27, 2010

 The Board of Trustees of Lake County Public Library has adopted the following policy in order to provide for the safety, comfort and welfare of patrons of all ages, and to provide an atmosphere conducive to study and the appropriate use of the library’s services and facilities.

The primary purpose of the children’s area in the library is to provide a safe and comfortable place for children and their caregivers to enjoy the library together. The Library reserves the right to direct unaccompanied adults to other areas of the Library when their presence is not specifically tied to the use of materials in the youth areas.

  1. The library is not intended or licensed to be a daycare, after school care facility, summer camp or babysitting service. The library is not responsible for the care of unattended minors.

  2. Those unattended minors who do not abide by library rules and policies, or who exhibit unacceptable behavior, will be asked to leave, and/or call their parents for a ride home. If unable to reach their parents, or if a ride is unavailable, the children may be considered abandoned and the local police department will be called.

  3. Minors without a ride home at closing may be considered abandoned and the authorities called. Library staff are not authorized to provide transportation to children left at closing. The library is not responsible for minors without a ride home at closing.

  4. The library believes it is the right and responsibility of a parent or guardian to determine what is appropriate material in order to meet personal family standards and guidelines. Therefore, parents are encouraged to accompany their children and to select material with their children or review their children’s selections. The library is not responsible for a minor’s selection of library materials.

  5. All children under age 18 must have written permission from a parent or legal guardian, signed on the library permission form in the presence of a library employee, to check-out Digital Video Discs (DVDs). The library is not responsible for the content or appropriateness of any materials checked-out.

  6. All children under age 18 must have written permission from a parent or legal guardian, signed on the library permission form in the presence of a library employee, to access the Internet. The library is not responsible for the content or appropriateness of any materials accessed on the Internet.

  7. Adults who are using the Internet or other library services and programs must supervise or provide guidance and behavior control for minors accompanying them. The library reserves the right to prohibit Internet use, and/or ask the adults and minor children to leave if unacceptable behavior persists.

  8. Library policy requires the signature of a parent, legal guardian, or adult relative approving the application for a library card for anyone under the age of 18.

  9. The Library requires the parent or guardian of a minor child to be responsible for all overdue, lost or damaged materials and fines, fees and other debts accrued by a minor child.

  10. The Library will release circulation records of a minor child to a parent or guardian only upon presentation of the child’s library card or card number, or if the materials are lost, damaged or overdue. The reference questions of minor children will be considered privileged information as determined by state law and professional ethics.

    The Library is not responsible for any consequences of parents forfeiting their responsibilities.

General Public Library Child Safety Guidelines

Child Safety in Public Libraries

Lake County Public Library values children as evidenced in library materials, services and resources offered specifically for children.

Children and their safety are of great concern to Lake County Public Library.

We encourage families and their children to use our libraries, yet we also support parents’ or caregivers’ responsibility for their children’s safety and upbringing. Children, like all library patrons, are expected to behave appropriately. Parents and caregivers, not library staff, are responsible for the behavior and supervision of their children in the library. (see Library Rules of Conduct)

The following areas highlight public library safety for children:

  • Public Areas

    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.

  • Library Closings

    If the library is closing, at the regular time or in an emergency situation, and an unattended child is left at the library without transportation home, Library Staff will allow the child to call home to remind their parents to pick them up. If the child is unable to contact their parents, Library Staff will remain no longer than 15 minutes after closing. At that time, local law authorities will be contacted and the child will be placed in their care. Under no circumstances shall a staff member drive a child home.

    Exceptions to this policy occur when programming requires children to attend on their own. At these times, children should be brought to the meeting room door prior to the program and be met outside the door at its conclusion.

    Parents are responsible for the conduct of minor children (under 18 years of age) in the library or on library grounds, regardless of whether they accompany their children or not.

  • Library Materials

    In selecting books for children, the Library’s objective is to present a collection that satisfies the informational, recreational, and cultural reading needs and potentials of children from infancy through eighth grade. Books are included which meet the general demands of the majority of children along with books whose special qualities make them valuable to children with special needs, talents, problems, or interests. (see Selection Policy for Children’s Materials - Official Memos Available Upon Request)

    The library is not responsible for a minor’s selection of library materials. The library believes it is the right and responsibility of a parent or guardian to determine what is appropriate material in order to meet personal family standards and guidelines. Therefore, parents are encouraged to accompany their children and to select material with their children or review their children’s selections.

    Parents are encouraged to participate in their child’s choice of reading and in their literacy discovery adventures. Lake County Public Library endorses the Every Child Ready to Read program and offers programs and resources that are age appropriate for children.

  • Meeting Rooms

    Library meeting rooms are primarily used for library related activities and other events co-sponsored by the library.  These activities receive priority above other groups who wish to reserve a meeting room. In all cases, an adult Lake County Public Library cardholder in good standing must take responsibility for the group's use of the room, equipment and conduct of members by signing a reservation and use agreement.  He or she must be present at the library before staff will open the meeting room to the group, and he or she must be present throughout the scheduled meeting.

    Children and youth groups are required to use the meeting rooms under adult supervision. All meetings must be open to the public. Library programs will take precedence over all other activities.  (see Meeting Room Policy)

  • Private Tutoring

    Library premises are available for the use of members of the public to meet their needs in accessing information. As part of its educational mission, the library permits tutoring.

    Independent tutors are not sponsored by the library. All arrangements must be made between the tutor, student, and parents.

    It is preferred that the parent remain in the Library while the child is tutored. The Library assumes no responsibility for children left unattended.

    Use of Study Rooms: Photo Identification is required for Study Room registration.

    Tutors are asked to observe the following guidelines when tutoring in the Library:

    • Tutoring activities are to be confined to designated study areas.

    • Designated areas may not be available if needed for Library programs or activities.

    • Tutoring sessions must be kept as quiet as possible. The Library's policy regarding disruptive behavior applies. (see Library Rules of Conduct)

    • Group tutoring is discouraged.

    • Tutors are responsible for the behavior of the students.

    • Library staff will assist tutors and their students with available library resources.

    • Tutors and students must bring their own supplies. (see Private Tutoring Guidelines - Official Memo Available Upon Request)

  • Keeping Children Safe Online

    The responsibility for minors' use of computers and the Internet rests with their parents or guardians. The Library does not serve in loco parentis (in place of a parent) like public schools do. Library staff do not act in place of parents providing constant care and supervision of children using library computers.

    The Library provides training on computer basics and the Internet and recommends sites suitable for children, which are included on the Children's Department pages of the Library website.

    The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) is a federal law enacted by Congress to address concerns about access to offensive content over the Internet on school and library computers. At Lake county Public Library we address these concerns using visual observation by staff to the extent practical, and the use of filtering software. Due to the filtering software some sites may end up being blocked even though they contain no objectionable material. The library has established procedures to request unblocking of individual sites.

    The Library recommends that parents discuss the following rules for online safety with their children before permitting them to use the Internet. Lake County Public Library recommends parents and caregivers adhere to www.netsmartz.org guidelines.

    Recommended by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children:

    • I will not give out personal information such as my address, telephone number, parents' work address/telephone number, or the name and location of my school without my parents' permission.

    • I will tell my parents right away if I come across any information that makes me feel uncomfortable.

    • I will never agree to get together with someone I "meet" online without first checking with my parents. If my parents agree to the meeting, I will be sure that it is in a public place and bring my mother or father along.

    • I will never send a person my picture or anything else without first checking with my parents.

    • I will not respond to any messages that are mean or in any way make me feel uncomfortable. It is not my fault if I get a message like that. If I do I will tell my parents right away so that they can contact the online service.

    • I will talk with my parents so that we can set up rules for going online. We will decide upon the time of day that I can be online, the length of time I can be online, and appropriate areas for me to visit. I will not access other areas or break these rules without their permission.

  • Computer Use Policy

Upcoming Events
Sat, Feb 04, 10:00am - 1:00pm
Dyer-Schererville - Meeting Room Whole (A & B)
Create a unique painting with assistance from local artist Mary Stang-Helm. Cash fee of $25 paid at time of event covers all materials.... more
Create a unique painting with assistance from local artist Mary Stang-Helm. Cash fee of $25 paid at time of event covers all materials. Class begins promptly at 10:00 a.m.

Sat, Feb 04, 10:00am - 11:00am
St. John - Children's Program Room
A 30 minute storytime for children ages Birth - 6 and their family. We will read books, sing songs, and take home a craft!

Sat, Feb 04, 10:00am - 12:00pm
Hobart - Children's Program Room
Bring your current projects (knitting, crochet, cross-stitch, embroidery, etc.) for an opportunity to chat and create! Other attendees... more
Bring your current projects (knitting, crochet, cross-stitch, embroidery, etc.) for an opportunity to chat and create! Other attendees would be happy to instruct on crochet as needed.

Mon, Feb 06, 10:30am - 11:30am
Merrillville - Meeting Room C
Classes to help prepare adults for the United States Immigration examination, to become naturalized citizens.

Mon, Feb 06, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Highland - Meeting Room A
Come and enjoy this afternoon movie with us! Seating is limited. Registration is required.

Mon, Feb 06, 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Meeting Room
Teens in 6th-12th grades are invited to join the NWI Chess Club. Please register and bring your own board.

Mon, Feb 06, 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Dyer-Schererville - Meeting Room Whole (A & B)
Teens are invited to join us as we sample books by Black authors in honor of Black History Month. From romance to science fiction,... more
Teens are invited to join us as we sample books by Black authors in honor of Black History Month. From romance to science fiction, mysteries to novels in verse, there's something for everyone!

Mon, Feb 06, 5:30pm - 6:30pm
St. John - Large Meeting Room
Earn volunteer hours and help the St. John Branch create teen programs, displays, and more! Refreshments will be served. Grades 6-12.... more
Earn volunteer hours and help the St. John Branch create teen programs, displays, and more! Refreshments will be served. Grades 6-12. Please register.

Mon, Feb 06, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Munster - Large Meeting Room,Munster Zoom Room
Teens get volunteer hours! Help plan programs and projects at the library. Interested teens 11 - 17 can attend. Zoom available.... more
Teens get volunteer hours! Help plan programs and projects at the library. Interested teens 11 - 17 can attend. Zoom available. Registration Required.  Programs subject to change.

Mon, Feb 06, 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Merrillville - Meeting Room B
English Classes are for participants who are learning English as a second language. Different levels are available. Classes are free.

Mon, Feb 06, 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Lake Station-New Chicago - Large Meeting Room
Are you a fan of anime or manga? If so, come to our monthly Teen Anime Club to find new anime to watch. We watch 3-4 episodes of your... more
Are you a fan of anime or manga? If so, come to our monthly Teen Anime Club to find new anime to watch. We watch 3-4 episodes of your choosing each month. Ages 12-18.

Mon, Feb 06, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Highland - Meeting Room A
Teens are invited to help the Highland branch create projects and programs that you would like to attend. Snacks will be provided. ... more
Teens are invited to help the Highland branch create projects and programs that you would like to attend. Snacks will be provided. Registration required. Ages 12 – 18.

Tue, Feb 07, 10:15am - 10:45am
St. John - Children's Program Room
A 30 minute program for toddlers, ages 2-3 with their caregiver(s). We will read books, sing songs, and take home a craft!

Tue, Feb 07, 10:30am - 11:30am
St. John - Large Meeting Room
Join us for this month's travel film about Paris. Runtime: 60mins. Please register.

Tue, Feb 07, 10:30am - 10:50am
Merrillville - Children's Programming Room
Children ages 2-3 and their caregivers are invited to a 20-minute storytime session. Join us for books, music, and a take-home craft,... more
Children ages 2-3 and their caregivers are invited to a 20-minute storytime session. Join us for books, music, and a take-home craft, all designed to foster pre-reading skills.

Tue, Feb 07, 10:30am - 10:50am
Munster - Large Meeting Room
Babies and toddlers, birth - 23 months of age, accompanied by their caregivers, will enjoy this program filled with rhymes, books,... more
Babies and toddlers, birth - 23 months of age, accompanied by their caregivers, will enjoy this program filled with rhymes, books, music, and movement designed to help early literacy skills.
This event is full

Tue, Feb 07, 10:30am - 10:50am
Highland - Children's Programming Room
A storytime program for children 2 & 3 years of age, with a caregiver, featuring stories, fingerplays, music and a take home craft, that... more
A storytime program for children 2 & 3 years of age, with a caregiver, featuring stories, fingerplays, music and a take home craft, that teach early literacy skills. Please register all attending.

Tue, Feb 07, 10:30am - 11:00am
Hobart - Children's Program Room
Program for babies and toddlers, birth - 23 months of age, accompanied by their caregivers, filled with rhymes, books, music, and... more
Program for babies and toddlers, birth - 23 months of age, accompanied by their caregivers, filled with rhymes, books, music, and movement designed to help early literacy skills.

Tue, Feb 07, 11:15am - 11:45am
St. John - Children's Program Room
A 30 minute program for toddlers, ages 2-3 with their caregiver(s). We will read books, sing songs, and take home a craft!

Tue, Feb 07, 11:30am - 12:15pm
Cedar Lake - Children's Programming Room
For this storytime 4 and 5 year olds will hear stories and participate in music activities, rhymes, and other activities, with an... more
For this storytime 4 and 5 year olds will hear stories and participate in music activities, rhymes, and other activities, with an emphasis on important early pre-reading skills.

Tue, Feb 07, 11:30am - 11:50am
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Children's Programming Room
A storytime program for toddlers and their adult caregivers. Attendees will enjoy a storytime with books, rhymes, music, and a craft.... more
A storytime program for toddlers and their adult caregivers. Attendees will enjoy a storytime with books, rhymes, music, and a craft. Registration Required.

Tue, Feb 07, 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Meeting Room
A heartbroken pop star (Jennifer Lopez) spontaneously weds a stranger from the audience (Owen Wilson) while live on stage. PG-13 1h 52min

Tue, Feb 07, 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Dyer-Schererville Branch - Tutor Table
Book this one-hour session to receive individualized instruction in basic technology skills. Registrant may be contacted before the... more
Book this one-hour session to receive individualized instruction in basic technology skills. Registrant may be contacted before the session to discuss the type of help needed.
This event is full

Tue, Feb 07, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Children's Programming Room
A program for children of all ages and their families to come craft homemade valentines, all supplies included!

Tue, Feb 07, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Highland - Children's Programming Room
In this program children in grades K-5 will learn how to make a heart-shaped bird feeder, and other simple feeders, to help our... more
In this program children in grades K-5 will learn how to make a heart-shaped bird feeder, and other simple feeders, to help our feathered friends during the height of winter, when they need it most.

Tue, Feb 07, 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Munster - Large Meeting Room
Each session includes a series of asanas (postures) & sequences of pranayam (breathing exercises) for good health. Please bring your own... more
Each session includes a series of asanas (postures) & sequences of pranayam (breathing exercises) for good health. Please bring your own mat to class.

Tue, Feb 07, 6:00pm - 7:45pm
Merrillville - Meeting Room B
We are proud to be hosting a support, education, & social space for LGBTQ+ teens & their allies. Teens (12-18) are welcome.

Wed, Feb 08, 10:30am - 11:30am
Merrillville - Meeting Room C
Classes to help prepare adults for the United States Immigration examination, to become legal Citizens.

Wed, Feb 08, 10:30am - 10:50am
Merrillville - Children's Programming Room
Babies up to 23 months and their families are invited to a 20-minute lapsit program of rhymes, songs, knee bounces, and other activities... more
Babies up to 23 months and their families are invited to a 20-minute lapsit program of rhymes, songs, knee bounces, and other activities designed to foster early child development.

Wed, Feb 08, 1:00pm - 3:00pm
St. John - Large Meeting Room
Do you enjoy crafting? Do you wish you had friendly people to work with on those crafts? Bring your current project and enjoy the... more
Do you enjoy crafting? Do you wish you had friendly people to work with on those crafts? Bring your current project and enjoy the company every Wednesday! All crafts are welcome.

Wed, Feb 08, 1:30pm - 1:50pm
Munster - Children's Program Room
Storytime featuring stories, fingerplays, music, and a take home craft that teach pre-reading skills for kids 4-6. Please note NEW... more
Storytime featuring stories, fingerplays, music, and a take home craft that teach pre-reading skills for kids 4-6. Please note NEW afternoon time.

Wed, Feb 08, 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Cedar Lake - Meeting Room A
Homeschool children are invited to attend a program exploring a STEAM topic each session. The only requirement is imagination and... more
Homeschool children are invited to attend a program exploring a STEAM topic each session. The only requirement is imagination and registration!

Wed, Feb 08, 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Lake Station-New Chicago - Large Meeting Room
Come hang out at the library and play the Nintendo Switch and board games! We provide the games...you bring your friends to join in on... more
Come hang out at the library and play the Nintendo Switch and board games! We provide the games...you bring your friends to join in on the fun! Ages 12-18.

Wed, Feb 08, 4:30pm - 6:30pm
Cedar Lake - Cedar Lake Public Tables
Bring yarn and a size H crochet hook or size 7 knitting needles and cotton yarn ... or bring along a project you're already working on!

Wed, Feb 08, 5:30pm - 6:45pm
St. John - Large Meeting Room
Join the Page Turners as we discuss "Unsettled Ground" by Claire Fuller. Books are available at the St. John Branch circulation desk.

Wed, Feb 08, 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Hobart - Children's Program Room
Join us as we create a project with Crayon wax. Dress for a messy time!

Wed, Feb 08, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Munster - Large Meeting Room
Printmaker Ida Short will be visiting with her antique table top printing presses! Learn about the art of letterpress and make your own... more
Printmaker Ida Short will be visiting with her antique table top printing presses! Learn about the art of letterpress and make your own valentines.

Wed, Feb 08, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Lake Station-New Chicago - Children's Program Room
School age children are invited to explore science, technology, engineering, art, and math with fun projects at the library. Please wear... more
School age children are invited to explore science, technology, engineering, art, and math with fun projects at the library. Please wear clothes you do not mind getting messy in.

Wed, Feb 08, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Highland - Meeting Room A
This month we will be making paper quilled valentines! Quilling is an art that uses thin strips of paper to make designs. Space is... more
This month we will be making paper quilled valentines! Quilling is an art that uses thin strips of paper to make designs. Space is limited. Registration is required for all attendees.

Wed, Feb 08, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Hobart - Programming Room
Join us and earn volunteer hours while helping us plan teen programming and services. For grades 6-12. Also, bring your art supplies... more
Join us and earn volunteer hours while helping us plan teen programming and services. For grades 6-12. Also, bring your art supplies and draw anything you like.

Wed, Feb 08, 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Children's Programming Room
Each session will highlight a different artist- we will learn about their craft and try out their unique style for ourselves. 6 week... more
Each session will highlight a different artist- we will learn about their craft and try out their unique style for ourselves. 6 week program; sign up for all or choose individual sessions to attend
This event is full

Thu, Feb 09, 10:30am - 12:30pm
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Meeting Room
Like to cross-stitch, knit, crochet, or do any other craft? Every Thursday, bring and work on your own project while enjoying the... more
Like to cross-stitch, knit, crochet, or do any other craft? Every Thursday, bring and work on your own project while enjoying the company of others.

Thu, Feb 09, 11:00am - 12:00pm
Merrillville - Small Group Room #2
Are you having laptop, smartphone, or tablet issues? Book this one-hour session to receive individualized assistance with your... more
Are you having laptop, smartphone, or tablet issues? Book this one-hour session to receive individualized assistance with your technology problems. Patron must bring their device with them.

Thu, Feb 09, 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Merrillville - Meeting Room A
Earn volunteer hours while helping us plan teen programming and services. For grades 6-12.

Thu, Feb 09, 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Merrillville - Meeting Room C
English Classes are for participants who are learning English as a second language. Different levels are available. Classes are free.

Fri, Feb 10, 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Hobart - Children's Program Room
Join us as we speed solve Rubik's Cube puzzles. All skill levels are welcome. Rubik's Cubes are supplied.

Sat, Feb 11, 10:00am - 12:00pm
Merrillville - Meeting Room B
Interested in any of the needle arts including knit, crochet, cross-stitch, and more? Join us for an opportunity to chat and create.... more
Interested in any of the needle arts including knit, crochet, cross-stitch, and more? Join us for an opportunity to chat and create. Please bring your own projects.

Sat, Feb 11, 10:00am - 12:00pm
St. John - Large Meeting Room
Create a suncatcher using glass pebbles. All materials will be provided. Space is limited and registration is required. Please... more
Create a suncatcher using glass pebbles. All materials will be provided. Space is limited and registration is required. Please register for only one session to allow more people to attend.
This event is full

Sat, Feb 11, 10:30am - 12:00pm
Merrillville - Children's Programming Room
Kids ages 6 months through 3 years old and their caregivers will enjoy interacting at various block play stations. Registration for all... more
Kids ages 6 months through 3 years old and their caregivers will enjoy interacting at various block play stations. Registration for all children & adults attending is required.
This event is full