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Lumberton Public Library

Lumberton Public Library's Safe Child Policy

The Lumberton Public Library is a city facility that offers a wide range of services to citizens and visitors alike, and children are especially welcome.  The library has a responsibility to provide an environment that is safe and conducive to use for all patrons who are utilizing the facility and services in an appropriate manner.  Minors of all ages are expected to adhere to the same standards of patron conduct expected of adults.  Parents, guardians or assigned chaperones are responsible for the behavior of their children while in the library.  As the library does not act in loco parentis, it is of the utmost importance that minors be supervised by a parent or guardian to ensure their safety and control their behavior while in a public facility.

Minors under the age of twelve (12) should never be left in the library unattended.  Minors age twelve (12) and older may use the library without the presence of an adult.  However, the minor is still the legal responsibility of the parent or guardian.  If it is discovered that a minor under the age of twelve (12) is in the library unattended, then library staff will make all appropriate and reasonable efforts to contact the minor’s parent or guardian.  It is then the responsibility of that person to immediately come to the library and supervise the child or to take custody of the child if supervision is not possible.  A minor of any age will be required to leave the library if they engage in inappropriate conduct as determined by library staff.  If a minor engages in behavior that results in their expulsion from the library, or in the event that a minor’s parent or guardian has not taken custody of them by the time that the library closes, library staff will make all appropriate and reasonable efforts to contact the minor’s parent or guardian.  A parent or guardian will have fifteen (15) minutes to pick up their child.  If the parent or guardian cannot be reached or has not arrived in this amount of time, then staff members will contact the Lumberton Police Department and have an officer take custody of the minor.

It is the responsibility of the adult caregiver to be aware of the library’s hours of operation and to also be aware that those hours are subject to change during holidays, inclement weather, or other unforeseen circumstances or emergencies.  Library staff members are prohibited from staying with a minor beyond the allotted fifteen (15) minutes after closing.  Library staff members are also prohibited from transporting a minor under any circumstances.

If a minor is placed in the custody of the Lumberton Police Department, the staff will put a note on the front entrance that states the following:

An unattended child has been placed in the care of the Lumberton Police Department in accordance with library policy.  The telephone number of the police department is 409-755-2650, and is located in the building adjacent west of the library.  For legal reasons, staff cannot include the child’s name on this notice.”