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February 8, 2016

About the Library

Library Use Policies : Unattended Children

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Library Closed Monday, Feb. 15

All locations of The Seattle Public Library and the book drops at the Central Library will be closed on Presidents Day, Monday, Feb. 15.

Unattended Children

The Seattle Public Library welcomes library use by children. Staff members are available to assist children with library materials or services. The Library desires to provide a safe and appropriate environment for visitors of all ages. The Library, however, is a public building with staff trained to provide public library services. The Library is not equipped-and it is not the Library's role-to provide long- or short-term child care.


For the safety and comfort of children, a responsible adult or caregiver should accompany children while they are using the Library. While in the Library, parents and caregivers are responsible for monitoring and regulating the behavior of their children.


Library staff members will be guided by this policy in situations, such as


  • An unattended child is found frightened or crying in the Library
  • An unattended child is perceived to be endangering him or herself, or that another person in the library poses a perceived threat to the unattended child
  • Seattle Public Library Policy #6d: Free Use of Library Services
  • An unattended child exhibits specific inappropriate behavior
  • An unattended child has not been met by a responsible caregiver at closing time
  • End of list


After evaluating the situation, Library staff members will attempt to contact the parent or guardian of an unattended child. In the event that the parent or guardian cannot be reached, the child will be placed in the care of the Seattle Police Department.


DATE ADOPTED: November 27, 2001. Revised March 26, 2003.