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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, Jun 18, 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, Jun 18, 10:00am - 12:00pm
St. John - Large Meeting Room
What are you doing to take care of your brain? Participants will enjoy fun and interactive activities in four sessions presented by... more
What are you doing to take care of your brain? Participants will enjoy fun and interactive activities in four sessions presented by Linda Curley from Purdue Extension Services. Registration Required.

Tue, Jun 18, 10:30am - 11:00am
Dyer-Schererville - Children's Programming Room
This half hour lap-sit program is for children ages birth to 23 months and their caregivers. We use songs, rhymes, and finger plays to... more
This half hour lap-sit program is for children ages birth to 23 months and their caregivers. We use songs, rhymes, and finger plays to encourage interaction and foster language development. 

Tue, Jun 18, 10:30am - 11:00am
St. John - Children's Program Room
Toddlers and their adult caregivers will enjoy a storytime with books, rhymes, music, and a craft.

Tue, Jun 18, 10:30am - 11:30am
Hobart - Children's Program Room
Where It Hurts by Reed Farrell Coleman

Tue, Jun 18, 10:30am - 11:30am
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Meeting Room
The Lake County Enviromobile is here! Kids will have fun playing a sorting game and learning more about recycling. This program is for... more
The Lake County Enviromobile is here! Kids will have fun playing a sorting game and learning more about recycling. This program is for kids 1st grade (6yrs old) and up.

Tue, Jun 18, 10:30am - 11:30am
Munster - Large Meeting Room
This ancient empire needs no introduction. From the Circus Maximus to the Colosseum, Rome's beauty still flourishes.

Tue, Jun 18, 11:00am - 11:45am
Lake Station-New Chicago - Children's Program Room
Families are invited to join us for a 45-minute story time. We will read books, sing songs, and do fun activities!

Tue, Jun 18, 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.

Tue, Jun 18, 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Meeting Room
Make a cyanotype print using a chemical solution, found objects, and the sun's rays. Registration required. Please wear clothing that... more
Make a cyanotype print using a chemical solution, found objects, and the sun's rays. Registration required. Please wear clothing that can be stained!

Tue, Jun 18, 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Cedar Lake - Meeting Room A
Come to the library for an open play session designed for children with sensory challenges. Children of all abilities are also welcome... more
Come to the library for an open play session designed for children with sensory challenges. Children of all abilities are also welcome to attend. Caregivers must accompany participants to the program.

Tue, Jun 18, 1:30pm - 2:15pm
Dyer-Schererville - Children's Programming Room
Picture books, flannel boards, puppets, songs, fingerplays and a craft bring language to life in this fun program.

Tue, Jun 18, 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Hobart - Large Meeting Room
Join us as Humane Indiana brings 5 animals and discusses the natural history of each species. We will explore the history of the rehab... more
Join us as Humane Indiana brings 5 animals and discusses the natural history of each species. We will explore the history of the rehab center, and what they provide for the wildlife in need.

Tue, Jun 18, 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, Jun 18, 2:30pm - 4:30pm
Dyer-Schererville - Meeting Room Whole (A & B)
The Brain Fitness Camp is meant to engage aging adults in fun and interactive activities that challenge thinking and help participants... more
The Brain Fitness Camp is meant to engage aging adults in fun and interactive activities that challenge thinking and help participants stay mentally active.

Tue, Jun 18, 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Merrillville - Children's Programming Room
Children will determine which common household items should end up in a landfill as waste and which are actually resources that should... more
Children will determine which common household items should end up in a landfill as waste and which are actually resources that should be recovered by reusing or recycling.

Tue, Jun 18, 3:30pm - 5:00pm
Cedar Lake - Meeting Room A
Come in and try Minecraft Pi. Play by yourself or with others. Recommended for ages 8 and up.

Tue, Jun 18, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Children's Programming Room
Preschoolers, ages 4, 5 & 6 will hear stories, enjoy music, games, STEM, finger plays and make a craft to take home.

Tue, Jun 18, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Hobart - Children's Program Room
Children (completed grades K-5) may free build with the library's LEGO® blocks or build a 'challenge' project. Constructions will be... more
Children (completed grades K-5) may free build with the library's LEGO® blocks or build a 'challenge' project. Constructions will be displayed in the library until the next LEGO® Club meeting.

Tue, Jun 18, 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Merrillville - Meeting Room A
Join us for the screening of an anime movie or TV series. Ages 12-18. Please Register. Snacks will be served.

Tue, Jun 18, 6:30pm - 7:00pm
Highland - Children's Programming 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.

Tue, Jun 18, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Merrillville - Meeting Room B
Play a friendly game of Chess or Go.

Wed, Jun 19, 10:15am - 10:45am
Dyer-Schererville - Children's Programming Room
Children ages 2-3 years, along with their caregivers, will enjoy storytime, which involves 30 minutes of interactive rhymes, songs,... more
Children ages 2-3 years, along with their caregivers, will enjoy storytime, which involves 30 minutes of interactive rhymes, songs, stories and a craft.

Wed, Jun 19, 10:30am - 11:00am
Highland - Children's Programming 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.

Wed, Jun 19, 10:30am - 11:30am
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Children's Programming Room
Children ages 2 & 3, accompanied by an adult caregiver, will enjoy a story time with books, finger plays, music and a craft.

Wed, Jun 19, 10:30am - 12:00pm
Lake Station-New Chicago - Large Meeting Room
New and expectant parents will learn how to care for their baby during the first 6 months of infancy. Class is geared towards anyone... more
New and expectant parents will learn how to care for their baby during the first 6 months of infancy. Class is geared towards anyone preparing for baby including mom, dad, and grandparents.

Wed, Jun 19, 11:15am - 11:45am
Dyer-Schererville - Children's Programming Room
Children ages 2-3 years, along with their caregivers, will enjoy storytime, which involves 30 minutes of interactive rhymes, songs,... more
Children ages 2-3 years, along with their caregivers, will enjoy storytime, which involves 30 minutes of interactive rhymes, songs, stories and a craft.

Wed, Jun 19, 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Merrillville - Meeting Room A
Enjoy a movie during summer break. Bring the whole family! Rated PG ; 111 minutes Snacks are welcome (clear drinks only)! *Children... more
Enjoy a movie during summer break. Bring the whole family! Rated PG ; 111 minutes Snacks are welcome (clear drinks only)! *Children under 7 must be accompanied by an adult 18+.

Wed, Jun 19, 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, Jun 19, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Dyer-Schererville - Meeting Room Whole (A & B)
A rogue star pilot and his trusty sidekick must come to the rescue of a Princess and save the galaxy from a ruthless race of beings... more
A rogue star pilot and his trusty sidekick must come to the rescue of a Princess and save the galaxy from a ruthless race of beings known as Spaceballs. PG. 96 min. Refreshments will be served.

Wed, Jun 19, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Meeting Room
First Man, the riveting story of NASA's mission to land a man on the moon, focusing on Neil Armstrong and the years 1961-1969. PG-13;... more
First Man, the riveting story of NASA's mission to land a man on the moon, focusing on Neil Armstrong and the years 1961-1969. PG-13; 138minutes.

Wed, Jun 19, 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Cedar Lake - Meeting Room A
Veterinarian, Emily Hawrysio, from Hanover Vet Hospital will lead an interactive program on the subject of animal body language and pet... more
Veterinarian, Emily Hawrysio, from Hanover Vet Hospital will lead an interactive program on the subject of animal body language and pet safety.

Wed, Jun 19, 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Merrillville - Meeting Room B
Teens will use paper and straws to make rockets. Who's rocket will go the farthest? Ages 12-18. Please register.
This event is full

Wed, Jun 19, 3:00pm - 3:30pm
St. John - Large Meeting Room
In this brief 30-minute session, elementary students, who have finished kindergarten, will try different kinds of electronic gadgets.... more
In this brief 30-minute session, elementary students, who have finished kindergarten, will try different kinds of electronic gadgets. They'll even draw inky planets with a 3D pen! Please register.
This event is full

Wed, Jun 19, 6:00pm - 6:45pm
Lake Station-New Chicago - Children's Program Room
Children of all ages are invited to this special two part program! Bring your stuffed animal friend for storytime and a craft and then... more
Children of all ages are invited to this special two part program! Bring your stuffed animal friend for storytime and a craft and then leave them overnight for an adventure.

Wed, Jun 19, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Highland - Meeting Room A
Snacks will be served and plans will be made for upcoming projects. Bring your ideas and be prepared for a fun time.

Wed, Jun 19, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Merrillville - Children's Programming Room
Storytime for preschoolers and their families. Enjoy an evening storytime with books, finger plays, and music. Feel free to wear pajamas!

Wed, Jun 19, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Munster - Large Meeting Room
Learn about how astronauts live aboard the International Space Station. Then try some astronaut food.

Wed, Jun 19, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Hobart - Large Meeting Room
Need help paying for Medicare? You may not be aware that there are many programs and resources available that may save you money. Don... more
Need help paying for Medicare? You may not be aware that there are many programs and resources available that may save you money. Don Camp will help you learn about cost-saving programs for Medicare.

Wed, Jun 19, 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Cedar Lake - Meeting Room A
Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong... more
Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight.

Wed, Jun 19, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Dyer-Schererville - Meeting Room Whole (A & B)
Visit many points of interest including the Cyclades Islands of Delos, Mykonos, Santorini, and Crete and the city of Heraklion. Join us... more
Visit many points of interest including the Cyclades Islands of Delos, Mykonos, Santorini, and Crete and the city of Heraklion. Join us as we explore Greece, and enjoy a local snack.

Thu, Jun 20, 10:30am - 12:30pm
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Children's Programming 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, Jun 20, 11:00am - 11:30am
Lake Station-New Chicago - Children's Program Room
Children of all ages are invited to this special two part program! Leave your stuffed animal at the library June 19th and come back the... more
Children of all ages are invited to this special two part program! Leave your stuffed animal at the library June 19th and come back the 20th for a party to see how much fun your friend had.

Thu, Jun 20, 11:30am - 1:00pm
Hobart - Large Meeting Room
Jim Hubbard of SCORE will help new and existing business owners learn to create a business plan that works! You must register in... more
Jim Hubbard of SCORE will help new and existing business owners learn to create a business plan that works! You must register in advance. If you would like a lunch, there is a $10 charge.
Register

Thu, Jun 20, 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Dyer-Schererville - Meeting Room Whole (A & B)
Make a sun catcher out of glue, glitter and paint.

Thu, Jun 20, 2:00pm - 3:00pm
St. John - Large Meeting Room
The Challenger Learning Center will present three different space-themed science stations for kids to explore. Come learn about Earth,... more
The Challenger Learning Center will present three different space-themed science stations for kids to explore. Come learn about Earth, the moon, and the planet Mars.

Thu, Jun 20, 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Highland - Meeting Room A
Children will learn to identify 7 types of plastics and sort items by arranging a “living human bar graph”!

Thu, Jun 20, 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Highland - Children's Programming Room
Join our discussion about this inspirational title. Pick up a copy of the book at the Highland Branch.

Thu, Jun 20, 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Hobart - Large Meeting Room
Teens will have their choice of space-themed crafts to make their summer dazzle.

Thu, Jun 20, 3:00pm - 5:00pm
Lake Station-New Chicago - Large Meeting Room
Working with acrylics & canvas, participants will follow an example to create an original piece of art. A $20 cash fee covers all... more
Working with acrylics & canvas, participants will follow an example to create an original piece of art. A $20 cash fee covers all materials. Registration is required.

Thu, Jun 20, 3:30pm - 5:00pm
Cedar Lake - Meeting Room A
Learn to code by playing Minecraft or even making your own games. Recommended for grades 6 to 12. Beginners welcome!

Thu, Jun 20, 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!

Thu, Jun 20, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
St. John - Large Meeting Room
Every month, come to the library and make a different craft. This month we will be making space galaxy jars! All materials provided.... more
Every month, come to the library and make a different craft. This month we will be making space galaxy jars! All materials provided. Registration required.  

Thu, Jun 20, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Meeting Room
Use the green screen to get lost in space!

Thu, Jun 20, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Merrillville - Meeting Room B
Inviting teens, ages 12-18, to LEGO® and Board Game Night. Stop in to build your creation or pick a board game to play instead. Please... more
Inviting teens, ages 12-18, to LEGO® and Board Game Night. Stop in to build your creation or pick a board game to play instead. Please register. Snacks will be provided.

Thu, Jun 20, 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Lake Station-New Chicago - Large Meeting Room
Working with acrylics & canvas, participants will follow an example to create an original piece of art. A $20 cash fee covers all... more
Working with acrylics & canvas, participants will follow an example to create an original piece of art. A $20 cash fee covers all materials. Registration is required.
This event is full

Thu, Jun 20, 6:30pm - 8:00pm
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.