Child Safety and Supervision
The Webster Groves Public Library strives to provide materials and programs to encourage children to visit, and to ensure that they will find the library a warm and inviting place. We hope that through their visits, children will develop a lifelong love of books, reading and libraries.
Library staff members attempt to ensure the safety of children in the library, but their duties as providers of library services prevent them from supervising each individual child left in the library.
It is the responsibility of parents to supervise their children while in the library. Parents may designate a responsible adult or teen (age 13 and over)—a trusted friend, neighbor or relative—to act as their representative for a child in the library.
A Word about Supervision
“Supervise” means that a parent (or the parent’s designated representative) is with the child in the library at all times and is aware of their behavior. It is our policy that all children five years old and under must be under the direct supervision of a person age 13 or older. Children ages 6 and 7 may use an area of the library (children’s room, reference room etc.) independently, but a parent or responsible person age 13 or older must remain in the library building. Children age 8 and older may be capable of using the library unattended without a parent in the building.
Parents are responsible for ensuring:
- that children’s behavior does not present a safety hazard to themselves, other users, or library and staff members property, and
- that children’s behavior does not interfere with the use of the library by others.
Children left unattended are vulnerable and may become frightened or anxious. If left unsupervised for an extended period of time they can become restless and bored, disturbing the enjoyment and study of others.
Suggestions for Parents
Bring children to the library at a less busy time and acquaint them with areas and materials that will interest them and discuss proper library conduct. Introduce children to library staff, and assure them that if they were ever to become lost or frightened, staff members are there to help. The library can be a very busy place, and is open to the public.
Make sure your children know that if they should ever feel uneasy or uncomfortable with another person in the building, they should tell a staff member immediately.
Know the library’s hours of operation and do not leave children here before opening, after closing or for extended periods of time. Please note that the library closes at 4:30 pm on Friday and Saturday. Library staff cannot be responsible for supervising children left alone in the parking lot.
Monday – Thursday : 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday – Saturday : 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Sunday : 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Teach unattended children how to reach you. There is no pay phone in our building, but children are allowed to use staff telephones to contact home.
Library staff members are not responsible for supervising what materials children choose to read while they are at the library, nor is the role of the library to determine what is appropriate reading or research material for your child. If you have concerns about the content of material, please visit the library together and assist your child in making selections.
Use of Internet
The Internet and its available resources may contain material of a controversial or adult nature that some parents will feel is unsuitable for their minor children. Parents and guardians of minor children are responsible for their children’s use of the Internet through the Webster Groves Public Library’s connection. The Library uses filtering software, but it is not perfect. While constitutionally protected speech and information is available for use by all adult patrons, the library must also be respectful of the rights of other patrons (particularly children) not to be inadvertently exposed to material and images that they (or their parents) may find unsuitable. In this regard, the following specific guidelines will be in effect regarding Internet access:
- Library computer workstations may not be used to view or transmit visual materials that are sexually explicit and/or obscene. Any library staff member who observes a person viewing such material, especially in the presence of children, will direct that person to remove the material from the computer screen. Any person who refuses to comply with these directions will be asked to leave the library premises. If necessary, law enforcement officials may be called upon to enforce compliance with such a request.
- Any parent may choose to restrict their child/children from using the Library’s Internet. Simply request that a note be placed on the child’s library card.
Useful Web Sites for Parents on Internet Safety
Please feel free to discuss these policies with Children’s Room personnel or with our Library Director.