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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
Tue, Jul 23, 10:00am - 10:45am
Merrillville - Children's Programming Room
Storytime for children 2 & 3 years of age, with a caregiver, featuring stories, fingerplays, music and a craft, that teach early... more
Storytime for children 2 & 3 years of age, with a caregiver, featuring stories, fingerplays, music and a craft, that teach early literacy skills.

Tue, Jul 23, 10:30am - 11:30am
Munster - Large Meeting Room
Children who have completed kindergarten and older will explore the universe through stories and art.

Tue, Jul 23, 10:30am - 11:30am
St. John - Children's Program Room
Children will develop pre-reading skills as they enjoy stories, music, and a craft.

Tue, Jul 23, 10:30am - 11:30am
St. John - Large Meeting Room
Join us for this informative program about caring for seniors and their memories. Learn signs that could point toward memory problems,... more
Join us for this informative program about caring for seniors and their memories. Learn signs that could point toward memory problems, such as Alzheimer's and dementia. Please register.

Tue, Jul 23, 11:00am - 11:30am
Riverview Park
Join us at Riverview park for stories, songs, and games!

Canceled
Tue, Jul 23, 11:00am - 11:45am
Lake Station-New Chicago
Families are invited to join us for a 45-minute story time. We will read books, sing songs, and do fun activities!

Tue, Jul 23, 11:15am - 12:00pm
Merrillville - Children's Programming Room
Storytime featuring stories, fingerplays, music and a craft that teach pre-reading skills for kids ages 4-5.
This event is full

Tue, Jul 23, 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Lake Station-New Chicago - Children's Program Room
Bring your projects and join us. Chat with fellow crafters and work on your project without the interruptions of home. All are welcome.

Tue, Jul 23, 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Lake Station-New Chicago - Foyer
A Representative from NorthShore Health Center will be offering free blood pressure screenings in the foyer. First come, first served.

Tue, Jul 23, 1:00pm - 2:00pm
St. John - Children's Program Room
Children will develop pre-reading skills as they enjoy stories, music, and a craft.

Tue, Jul 23, 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Hobart - Large Meeting Room
This program will focus on the animals that live in the Indiana Dunes National Park. Park Ranger Kip Walton will bring animals furs to... more
This program will focus on the animals that live in the Indiana Dunes National Park. Park Ranger Kip Walton will bring animals furs to see and touch along with a live animal.

Tue, Jul 23, 2:00pm - 3:00pm
St. John - Large Meeting Room
Adults can try all kinds of sports activities on the Nintendo Wii including bowling, golf, archery, racing, and more! Wii is easy to... more
Adults can try all kinds of sports activities on the Nintendo Wii including bowling, golf, archery, racing, and more! Wii is easy to learn, and lots of fun! Registration required.

Tue, Jul 23, 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Lake Station-New Chicago - Large Meeting Room
Join us for green screen fun at the library! You will be able to write your own skits and perform, while learning how to use the green... more
Join us for green screen fun at the library! You will be able to write your own skits and perform, while learning how to use the green screen technology. Please register. Ages 10-18.

Tue, Jul 23, 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Dyer-Schererville - Meeting Room Whole (A & B)
Back by Popular Demand! Rocks and paints provided, just bring your creativity! Registration required.
Registration is now closed

Tue, Jul 23, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Cedar Lake - Meeting Room A
In this card game you are planetary researchers trying to escape a hostile planet. One member of the team is an alien entity and will... more
In this card game you are planetary researchers trying to escape a hostile planet. One member of the team is an alien entity and will sabotage the researchers as they try to contact mission control.

Tue, Jul 23, 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Highland - Meeting Room A
Kids and their families will sing karaoke, eat snacks and have fun!

Tue, Jul 23, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Merrillville - Meeting Room A
Play a friendly game of Chess or Go.

Tue, Jul 23, 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Merrillville - Meeting Room B
Together with PFLAGCP-NWI, we are hosting a social, support, education, & networking space for LGBTQ+ teens & their allies. Teens... more
Together with PFLAGCP-NWI, we are hosting a social, support, education, & networking space for LGBTQ+ teens & their allies. Teens (12-18) are welcome. Parents/guardians can meet concurrently.

Wed, Jul 24, 10:30am - 11:00am
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Children's Programming Room
Children birth - 23 mos. old, accompanied by an adult caregiver, will enjoy this 30 min. lap-sit program. Songs, stories, finger plays... more
Children birth - 23 mos. old, accompanied by an adult caregiver, will enjoy this 30 min. lap-sit program. Songs, stories, finger plays and rhymes will encourage interaction and language development.

Wed, Jul 24, 10:30am - 11:00am
Munster - Children's Program Room
Learn new ways to play with your baby (birth to 23 months), while stimulating mental growth. Please register all attendees so we may... more
Learn new ways to play with your baby (birth to 23 months), while stimulating mental growth. Please register all attendees so we may be able to count you in our attendance.

Wed, Jul 24, 10:30am - 11:00am
St. John - Children's Program Room
This half hour lap-sit program uses songs and rhymes to foster language development.

Wed, Jul 24, 10:30am - 11:30am
Highland - Children's Programming Room
Storytime featuring stories, fingerplays, music and a craft that teach pre-reading skills for kids 4-6.
This event is full

Wed, Jul 24, 10:30am - 12:00pm
Lake Station-New Chicago - Children's Program Room
An experienced labor nurse will help expectant parents prepare for labor by providing education and advice on the labor experience. She... more
An experienced labor nurse will help expectant parents prepare for labor by providing education and advice on the labor experience. She will help parents feel prepared for the birth of their baby. 

Wed, Jul 24, 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Merrillville - Meeting Room A
Enjoy a movie during summer break. Bring the whole family! Rated PG ; 88 minutes Snacks are welcome (clear drinks only)! *Children under... more
Enjoy a movie during summer break. Bring the whole family! Rated PG ; 88 minutes Snacks are welcome (clear drinks only)! *Children under 7 must be accompanied by an adult 18+.

Wed, Jul 24, 12:30pm - 2:00pm
St. John - Large Meeting Room
Bring your favorite yarn or thread project and enjoy some great company while you create! All crafters are welcome, no matter what craft... more
Bring your favorite yarn or thread project and enjoy some great company while you create! All crafters are welcome, no matter what craft you enjoy!

Wed, Jul 24, 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Cedar Lake - Meeting Room A
This school aged program will focus on the Indiana Dunes National park's plants, animals and general ecology. Children will learn about... more
This school aged program will focus on the Indiana Dunes National park's plants, animals and general ecology. Children will learn about the natural world not so far from us and what park rangers do.

Wed, Jul 24, 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Lake Station-New Chicago - Large Meeting Room
This program for kids in 1st through 6th grade will introduce kids to engineering concepts through a presentation and fun hands on... more
This program for kids in 1st through 6th grade will introduce kids to engineering concepts through a presentation and fun hands on activities.

Wed, Jul 24, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Meeting Room
Explore: Puerto Mogan, Puerto Rico, Tenerife, Palmitos Park, Santa Cruz Maspalomas, Las Teresitas, Playa del Ingles, Candelaria, Gran... more
Explore: Puerto Mogan, Puerto Rico, Tenerife, Palmitos Park, Santa Cruz Maspalomas, Las Teresitas, Playa del Ingles, Candelaria, Gran Canaria

Wed, Jul 24, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Hobart - Large Meeting Room
Teens will construct a space obstacle course. Then they will code and operate the Dash and Sphero BOLT 'bots in a race through the course.

Wed, Jul 24, 3:30pm - 4:30pm
St. John - Large Meeting Room
Adults can try all kinds of sports activities on the Nintendo Wii including bowling, golf, archery, racing, and more! Wii is easy to... more
Adults can try all kinds of sports activities on the Nintendo Wii including bowling, golf, archery, racing, and more! Wii is easy to learn, and lots of fun! Registration required.

Wed, Jul 24, 6:00pm - 6:45pm
Munster - Large Meeting Room
Ages 11 and up will have to find clues around the room to solve the puzzle to escape the room.
This event is full

Wed, Jul 24, 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Highland - Meeting Room A
Eat snacks while playing video and board games.

Wed, Jul 24, 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Cedar Lake - Meeting Room A
Play Wii games, jam out on Guitar Hero or many other games!

Wed, Jul 24, 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Meeting Room
Learn how to write a book review while enjoying snacks and sharing your top picks from this year.

Wed, Jul 24, 6:30pm - 8:00pm
St. John - Large Meeting Room
Join us for this month's Classic Film selection: Flight of the Navigator. Rated PG. Run time: 90 minutes. Refreshments will be... more
Join us for this month's Classic Film selection: Flight of the Navigator. Rated PG. Run time: 90 minutes. Refreshments will be served. Registration is required.

Wed, Jul 24, 7:00pm - 7:45pm
Munster Branch - Large Meeting Room
Ages 11 and up will have to find clues around the room to solve the puzzle to escape the room.
This event is full

Wed, Jul 24, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Dyer-Schererville - Meeting Room Whole (A & B)
The Between the Lines Book Club reads "The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit" by Michael Finkel.... more
The Between the Lines Book Club reads "The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit" by Michael Finkel. Books can be picked up at the circ desk a month before the event.

Thu, Jul 25, 10:15am - 11:30am
Dyer-Schererville - Meeting Room Whole (A & B)
The Between the Lines Book Club reads "The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit" by Michael Finkel.... more
The Between the Lines Book Club reads "The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit" by Michael Finkel. Books can be picked up at the circ desk a month before the event.

Thu, Jul 25, 10:30am - 11:15am
Cedar Lake - Children's Programming Room
Toddlers 2 and 3 years of age accompanied by a caregiver will participate in stories, finger plays, music activities, crafts, and more.... more
Toddlers 2 and 3 years of age accompanied by a caregiver will participate in stories, finger plays, music activities, crafts, and more. Activities will help to develop important pre-literacy skills.

Thu, Jul 25, 10:30am - 12:00pm
St. John - Large Meeting Room
Join us for this month's Classic Film selection: Flight of the Navigator. Rated PG. Run time: 90 minutes. Refreshments will be... more
Join us for this month's Classic Film selection: Flight of the Navigator. Rated PG. Run time: 90 minutes. Refreshments will be served. Registration is required.

Thu, Jul 25, 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, Jul 25, 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Munster - Large Meeting Room
Join us for an informal and relaxed discussion, copies are available at the Munster branch. The untold story of the American women... more
Join us for an informal and relaxed discussion, copies are available at the Munster branch. The untold story of the American women who cracked German and Japanese code to help win World War II.

Thu, Jul 25, 2:00pm - 3:00pm
St. John - Large Meeting Room
Come see animals at the library! Humane Indiana rehabilitates wildlife, and they will be sending some of their nocturnal animals for... more
Come see animals at the library! Humane Indiana rehabilitates wildlife, and they will be sending some of their nocturnal animals for this special event. Which ones? Just wait and see!

Thu, Jul 25, 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Highland - Meeting Room A
Build a LEGO® race car, check it's performance on the track, tweak it to your satisfaction, then race the other cars!

Thu, Jul 25, 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Dyer/Schererville Library: East parking lot
Explore a real fire truck and beat the heat with the spray from the Schererville Fire Department's tallest and biggest hose. Bring a... more
Explore a real fire truck and beat the heat with the spray from the Schererville Fire Department's tallest and biggest hose. Bring a towel and wear your swimsuit.

Thu, Jul 25, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Merrillville - Children's Programming Room
Children in grades K-6 will have fun making their own unique LEGO® creations. The only requirement is imagination!
This event is full

Thu, Jul 25, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
St. John - Large Meeting Room
Learn how to hand sew designs of several star constellations on cardstock paper! Easy and simple to make for friends and family! Ages... more
Learn how to hand sew designs of several star constellations on cardstock paper! Easy and simple to make for friends and family! Ages 11-18. Must register.

Thu, Jul 25, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Munster - Large Meeting Room
Children who have completed kindergarten and older will explore the universe using STEAM techniques.

Thu, Jul 25, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Lake Station-New Chicago - Children's Program Room
Children in grades K-6 are invited to join us for one hour of LEGO® building. Bring your friends, but please leave your own LEGOS® at... more
Children in grades K-6 are invited to join us for one hour of LEGO® building. Bring your friends, but please leave your own LEGOS® at home.

Thu, Jul 25, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Meeting Room
Kids and their families are invited for an evening of glow in the dark dancing and fun. One glow stick per child will be provided. ... more
Kids and their families are invited for an evening of glow in the dark dancing and fun. One glow stick per child will be provided. Lemonade and snacks will be provided.

Thu, Jul 25, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Highland - Meeting Room A
Join our Once Upon a Crime mystery book discussion. Pick up a copy at the Highland Branch.