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CHILD AND VULNERABLE ADULT PROTECTION POLICY

Adopted by Administration and the Board of Trustees of the Lake County Public Library - 10/28/2021

This policy applies to all Lake County Public Library (LCPL) buildings and offsite events.

Child: Individual who is less than 18 years of age

Vulnerable Adult: Individual aged 18 or over whose ability to protect themself from violence, abuse or neglect is significantly impaired through physical or mental disability, illness, advanced age or otherwise

Staff: Employees of the Library who have contact with children and vulnerable adults in connection with their work duties

Volunteer: Individuals who have regular contact with children and vulnerable adults in connection with their volunteer activities at the Library

LCPL seeks to provide a safe and secure environment for children and vulnerable adults who visit the Library or are involved in Library programs and activities. The Library’s goal is to protect youth from incidents of misconduct or inappropriate behavior while also protecting staff and volunteers from false accusations.

LCPL encourages and welcomes children and vulnerable adults of all ages to use its facilities and services and to participate in its programs and activities. However, responsibility for the safety and behavior of children and vulnerable adults while at the Library rests solely with the parent, guardian or authorized caregiver and not with Library staff or volunteers. The following policies apply with respect to children and vulnerable adults on Library premises:

  • Library Staff and volunteers are not responsible for monitoring or supervising the safety and behavior of children or vulnerable adults on Library premises.
  • The parent or guardian of children or vulnerable adults on Library premises is solely responsible for ensuring the children or vulnerable adults are appropriately supervised and for the safety and behavior of the children or vulnerable adults.
  • If a child’s or vulnerable adult's behavior becomes disruptive to the operations of the Library, to other patrons or to Library staff, appropriate action in accordance with the Library’s policies and practices will be taken.

Staff and Volunteer Interaction with Children or Vulnerable Adults

The following policies apply with respect to interaction with children or vulnerable adults by Library staff and volunteers:

Staff and volunteers shall not accept or assume the responsibility for monitoring or supervising the safety and behavior of children or vulnerable adults on Library premises.

  • Staff and Volunteers shall not contact or communicate with children or vulnerable adults outside of the operations, programs and activities of the Library unless they have a prior, independent relationship with the children or vulnerable adults.
  • Staff and volunteers shall not in the presence or hearing of children or vulnerable adults use profanities, vulgarities; sexual innuendo, banter or jokes; or emotionally abusive language.
  • Staff and volunteers shall not share pornography or other obscene material with children or vulnerable adults Staff and volunteers shall not give or accept gifts or money without prior authorization from the employee’s supervisor.
  • Staff and volunteers shall not engage in conduct that involves using physical contact with a child or vulnerable adult (including without limitation touching, hugging, or kissing)
  • Staff and volunteers shall not engage in conduct that involves using physical contact to discipline a child or vulnerable adult (including without limitation touching, striking or hitting the child or vulnerable adult) except in the case of a necessity related to the health and welfare of the child, vulnerable adult, Library patrons, or Library staff or volunteers.
  • Staff and volunteers will not be in one-on-one no-visibility situations with children or vulnerable adults.
  • Staff and volunteers, to the extent possible and when feasible, should keep doors to rooms where programs and activities involving children and vulnerable adults are conducted open during the program or activity unless there is a window in the door or a window to the room.
  • Staff and volunteers should ensure that doors to rooms where programs and activities involving children and vulnerable adults are conducted should never be locked during the program or activity.
  • Staff and volunteers shall never assist any child or vulnerable adult with restroom usage. Any child or vulnerable adult too young or otherwise unable to provide for themselves regarding restroom usage should have a parent, guardian or authorized caregiver present to assist them.
  • Library staff shall not leave volunteers unattended with children and vulnerable adults.
  • Staff and volunteers are not permitted to remain alone after closing time with a child or vulnerable adult. Staff and volunteers will not give a child or vulnerable adult a ride home. Staff will not transport children or vulnerable adults to or from offsite activities.

Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect

Child Safety in Public Libraries

Indiana Code (IC 31-33-5) requires that any individual who has reason to believe that a child is a victim of child abuse or neglect must immediately report such directly to the Indiana Department of Child Services (“DCS”) or to a local law enforcement agency. This mandatory reporting requirement includes reporting child abuse, including any sex offense against a child, committed by any Library Staff or Volunteers while on Library premises or while attending an offsite Library event. The following reporting procedures apply if a Library employee or volunteer has reason to believe that an act of child abuse or neglect has occurred, by any person, including any Library employee or volunteer:

  • The Library employee or volunteer shall themselves immediately report the occurrence directly to DCS or local law enforcement. DCS operates a toll-free hotline (1-800-800-5556) for people to call and report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect.
  • The Library employee or volunteer shall immediately report the occurrence to the Library’s Director.
  • The Director shall also report the occurrence to DCS or local law enforcement.
  • Director shall inform the Library Board of Trustee of the situation in an Executive Board session.
  • If the alleged child abuse or neglect involves allegations against a Library employee or volunteer, the Library employee or volunteer shall be immediately suspended from employment and/or volunteer activities pending the investigation of the allegations.
  • The Library’s Director shall immediately notify the Library’s liability insurance provider.
  • All Library employees and volunteers shall cooperate with any investigation of the incident by state or local authorities.
  • If the alleged child abuse or neglect involves allegations against a Library employee or volunteer, the Library’s Director will investigate the circumstances of the alleged child abuse or neglect.
  • Any Library employee or volunteer who is not determined to be innocent of the alleged child abuse or neglect shall be subject to permanent removal from any contact with children and vulnerable adults in connection with their work duties or volunteer activities as well as additional corrective and disciplinary action up to and including termination as an employee or volunteer as appropriate.

Reporting Vulnerable Adult Abuse and Neglect 

The same reporting procedure should be followed for any suspected acts of abuse and neglect of vulnerable adults as stated with children with the exception of notifying the Indiana Department of Child Services (“DCS”).

Children and Vulnerable Adults Protection Training

All Library staff and volunteers will be trained regarding youth protection issues. Such training for Staff and volunteers shall involve a review of the Library’s Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy and Indiana’s mandatory child abuse and neglect reporting requirements.

Upcoming Events
Mon, Nov 28, 11:00am - 3:30pm
Munster - Large Meeting Room
Call Jeanette Pike to instructor to register. 219-949-6307. Masking is optional.

Mon, Nov 28, 12:30pm - 2:30pm
Dyer-Schererville - Meeting Room Whole (A & B)
De-stress and relax with pencils and coloring sheets provided by the library -- or bring your own!

Rescheduled
Mon, Nov 28, 1:00pm - 2:00pm
New date Tuesday, November 15, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Griffith-Calumet Twp
Tweens can join a discussion about I Can Make This Promise by Christine Day. Ages 10-13. Please register.

Mon, Nov 28, 1:00pm - 1:20pm
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Children's Programming Room
Storytime for kids 4-6 years old, featuring stories, music and take home craft, that help develop early literacy skills. Must register.

Mon, Nov 28, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Cedar Lake - Meeting Room A
Play Scrabble or other games with friends and meet new ones. Games will be provided but feel free to bring your own. Join the fun!

Mon, Nov 28, 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Meeting Room
Group book discussion. "A provocative contemporary novel that examines the American dream through the lens of two families living side... more
Group book discussion. "A provocative contemporary novel that examines the American dream through the lens of two families living side by side in an idyllic neighborhood."

Mon, Nov 28, 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Dyer-Schererville - Meeting Room Whole (A & B)
The Library is YOUR library. Help your local library create programs and initiatives that help and interest you. We'll brainstorm and... more
The Library is YOUR library. Help your local library create programs and initiatives that help and interest you. We'll brainstorm and discuss ways to improve teen programs.

Mon, Nov 28, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Munster - Large Meeting Room
Calling all teen Anime and Manga fans! Come out and join other Anime fans as we watch a couple Anime episodes, do a fun activity and... more
Calling all teen Anime and Manga fans! Come out and join other Anime fans as we watch a couple Anime episodes, do a fun activity and have snacks.
This event is full

Mon, Nov 28, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
St. John - Large Meeting Room
Decorate some apple slices with caramel, sprinkles, candies, and more! Apple cider will also be served. Ages 12-18. Registration required.

Mon, Nov 28, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Highland - Meeting Room A
A selection of board and card games will be provided for you and fellow teens to play. Registration required. Snacks will be provided.... more
A selection of board and card games will be provided for you and fellow teens to play. Registration required. Snacks will be provided. Ages 12 - 18

Tue, Nov 29, 10:15am - 10:45am
St. John - Children's Program Room
A 30 minute program for toddlers, ages 2-3 with their caregiver(s). We will read books, sing songs, and take home a craft!
This event is full

Tue, Nov 29, 10:30am - 10:50am
Merrillville - Children's Programming Room
Celebrate Picture Book Month with this family storytime, and enjoy a variety of books and other activities designed to promote early... more
Celebrate Picture Book Month with this family storytime, and enjoy a variety of books and other activities designed to promote early literacy.

Tue, Nov 29, 10:30am - 10:50am
Munster - Children's Program 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.
This event is full

Tue, Nov 29, 11:00am - 12:00pm
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Meeting Room
Relax via this coloring for adults open session. Enjoy a warm cup of coffee or tea while getting creative with no pressure for... more
Relax via this coloring for adults open session. Enjoy a warm cup of coffee or tea while getting creative with no pressure for perfection. Coloring materials provided. Ages 18 and over.

Tue, Nov 29, 11:15am - 11:45am
St. John - Children's Program Room
A 30 minute program for toddlers, ages 2-3 with their caregiver(s). We will read books, sing songs, and take home a craft!

Tue, Nov 29, 11:30am - 11:50am
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Children's Programming Room
Rhymes, books, music, and movement, designed to help with early literacy skills, for young children, birth - 23 months with an adult... more
Rhymes, books, music, and movement, designed to help with early literacy skills, for young children, birth - 23 months with an adult caregiver. Must register ahead of time.

Tue, Nov 29, 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Merrillville - Meeting Room B
Join us to learn about the selected art style/movement, and make your own artwork. All materials provided. Please register.

Wed, Nov 30, 1:00pm - 3:00pm
St. John - Large Meeting Room
Bring your favorite yarn or thread project and enjoy some great company while you create! All crafters and crafts are welcome!

Wed, Nov 30, 1:00pm - 1:20pm
Dyer-Schererville - Children's Programming Room
Youth Services Librarians will read their favorite picture books in honor of National Picture Book Month.

Wed, Nov 30, 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Merrillville - Small Group Room #1
Receive individualized instruction in basic computer skills.
This event is full

Wed, Nov 30, 2:30pm - 3:00pm
Hobart - Children's Program Room
Storytime featuring stories, fingerplays, music, and a take home craft that teach pre-reading skills for kids 4-6.

Wed, Nov 30, 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Lake Station-New Chicago - Large Meeting Room
Come hang out and play some video games! We provide the video games...you bring your friends to join in on the fun! Ages 12-18.

Wed, Nov 30, 4:30pm - 6:30pm
Cedar Lake - Cedar Lake Public Tables
Bring yarn and a size H crochet hook or size 7 knitting needles and cotton yarn ... or bring along a project you're already working on!

Wed, Nov 30, 6:00pm - 6:30pm
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Children's Programming Room
Join us for stories, music, related activities and a craft, in this storytime for children and their family members.

Wed, Nov 30, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Hobart - Programming Room
Tweens and teens ages 8-15 can join us to try Minecraft Pi. Play by yourself or with others.

Wed, Nov 30, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Munster - Children's Program Room
Come decorate your own superhero cape and mask!

Wed, Nov 30, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Cedar Lake - Meeting Room A
All Ability programs are geared towards adults with special needs but are open to everyone age 10+. Caretakers must stay in the room.

Wed, Nov 30, 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Meeting Room
Teens will create an watercolor painting with a autumn leaf theme. Ages 12 to 18. Registration is required.

Thu, Dec 01, 10:15am - 10:45am
St. John - Children's Program Room
A 30 minute storytime for children ages Birth-24 months, with their caregiver(s). We will sing songs, read books, bounce, wiggle, and move!

Thu, Dec 01, 10:30am - 12:30pm
Dyer-Schererville - Meeting Room A
Bring any low-mess craft (e.g., knitting, crochet, cross-stitch, coloring, origami, jewelry-making) and enjoy meeting and sharing ideas... more
Bring any low-mess craft (e.g., knitting, crochet, cross-stitch, coloring, origami, jewelry-making) and enjoy meeting and sharing ideas with other crafters in this twice-monthly club.

Thu, Dec 01, 10:30am - 11:00am
Highland - Children's Programming Room
Storytime featuring stories, fingerplays, music, and a take home craft that teach pre-reading skills for kids 4-6.

Thu, Dec 01, 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, Dec 01, 10:30am - 10:50am
Lake Station-New Chicago - Children's Program Room
Babies and their caregivers will participate in stories, nursery rhymes, finger plays, and music activities designed to enhance... more
Babies and their caregivers will participate in stories, nursery rhymes, finger plays, and music activities designed to enhance important pre-literacy skills.

Thu, Dec 01, 11:00am - 11:30am
Hobart - Children's Program Room
Storytime for children 2 & 3 years of age, with a caregiver, featuring stories, fingerplays, music and a take home craft, that teach... more
Storytime for children 2 & 3 years of age, with a caregiver, featuring stories, fingerplays, music and a take home craft, that teach early literacy skills. Please register all attending.

Thu, Dec 01, 11:00am - 12:00pm
Merrillville - Small Group Room #2
Are you having laptop, smartphone, or tablet issues? Book this one-hour session to receive individualized assistance with your... more
Are you having laptop, smartphone, or tablet issues? Book this one-hour session to receive individualized assistance with your technology problems. Patron must bring their device with them.
This event is full

Thu, Dec 01, 11:15am - 11:45am
St. John - Children's Program Room
A 30 minute storytime for children ages Birth-24 months, with their caregiver(s). We will sing songs, read books, bounce, wiggle, and move!

Thu, Dec 01, 11:30am - 12:15pm
Cedar Lake - Children's Programming Room
Toddlers, 2 and 3 years of age, accompanied by a caregiver will participate in stories, finger plays, and music activities. Activities... more
Toddlers, 2 and 3 years of age, accompanied by a caregiver will participate in stories, finger plays, and music activities. Activities will help to develop important pre-literacy skills.
This event is full

Thu, Dec 01, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Merrillville - Meeting Room B
If you are new to the area or a life-long resident then join us for coffee, activities and conversation every 1st Thursday of the month.... more
If you are new to the area or a life-long resident then join us for coffee, activities and conversation every 1st Thursday of the month. Catch up with old friends and meet new ones!

Thu, Dec 01, 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Highland - Meeting Room A
Join the discussion of The Holdout, which is our Once Upon a Crime Mystery Book Club selection for December. Pick up a copy at the... more
Join the discussion of The Holdout, which is our Once Upon a Crime Mystery Book Club selection for December. Pick up a copy at the Highland Branch.

Thu, Dec 01, 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Children's Department - Basement Back Lobby
For the holidays, we are offering each family in our community the opportunity to come get a holiday photo taken in front of our green... more
For the holidays, we are offering each family in our community the opportunity to come get a holiday photo taken in front of our green screen. Two (2) photos per family.

Thu, Dec 01, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Children's area
Children of all ages and reading levels will have the opportunity to read aloud to a Power Paws therapy dog and their volunteer.... more
Children of all ages and reading levels will have the opportunity to read aloud to a Power Paws therapy dog and their volunteer. Registration of all attendees is required.

Thu, Dec 01, 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Merrillville - Meeting Room C
Introduction to Tabletop Role Playing Games

Thu, Dec 01, 6:30pm - 6:50pm
Merrillville - Children's Programming Room
Join us for bedtime stories and lullabies so you can leave the library relaxed and ready for bedtime. Wear your jammies and get ready to... more
Join us for bedtime stories and lullabies so you can leave the library relaxed and ready for bedtime. Wear your jammies and get ready to *yawn* read.

Sat, Dec 03, 10:00am - 10:30am
St. John - Children's Program Room
A 30 minute storytime for children ages Birth - 6 and their family. We will read books, sing songs, and take home a craft!
This event is full

Sat, Dec 03, 10:00am - 1:00pm
Dyer-Schererville - Meeting Room Whole (A & B)
Create a unique painting with assistance from local artist Mary Stang-Helm. Cash fee of $25 paid at time of event covers all materials.... more
Create a unique painting with assistance from local artist Mary Stang-Helm. Cash fee of $25 paid at time of event covers all materials. Class begins promptly at 10:00 a.m.
This event is full

Sat, Dec 03, 10:00am - 12:00pm
Hobart - Children's Program Room
Bring your current projects (knitting, crochet, cross-stitch, embroidery, etc.) for an opportunity to chat and create! Other attendees... more
Bring your current projects (knitting, crochet, cross-stitch, embroidery, etc.) for an opportunity to chat and create! Other attendees would be happy to instruct on crochet as needed.

Sat, Dec 03, 10:00am - 12:00pm
Highland - Meeting Room A
Card making class for adults. Class size is limited to 6 participants. Registration is required. $5 cash fee paid at time of class... more
Card making class for adults. Class size is limited to 6 participants. Registration is required. $5 cash fee paid at time of class covers all materials to make one card and a treat holder.

Sat, Dec 03, 11:00am - 12:30pm
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Meeting Room
Create mini coffee to-go cup ornaments! Registration is required.

Mon, Dec 05, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Highland - Meeting Room A
Come and enjoy this holiday movie with us! Seating is limited. Registration is required.

Mon, Dec 05, 5:00pm - 6:00pm
St. John - Large Meeting Room
Earn volunteer hours and help the St. John Branch create teen programs, displays, and more! Enjoy refreshments and meet new people.... more
Earn volunteer hours and help the St. John Branch create teen programs, displays, and more! Enjoy refreshments and meet new people. Grades 6-12. Please register.

Mon, Dec 05, 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Meeting Room
Teens in 6th-12th grades are invited to join the NWI Chess Club. Please register and bring your own board.

Mon, Dec 05, 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Merrillville - Small Group Room #1
Receive individualized instruction in basic computer skills.
This event is full

Mon, Dec 05, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Munster - Large Meeting Room,Munster Zoom Room
Teens get volunteer hours! Help plan programs and projects at the library. Interested teens 12 - 18 can attend. Zoom available.

Mon, Dec 05, 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Lake Station-New Chicago - Large Meeting Room
Are you a fan of anime or manga? Come to the Lake Station-New Chicago's Teen Anime Club to find new anime to watch and to discuss your... more
Are you a fan of anime or manga? Come to the Lake Station-New Chicago's Teen Anime Club to find new anime to watch and to discuss your favorite manga. Ages 12-18.

Mon, Dec 05, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Highland - Meeting Room A
Teens are invited to help the Highland branch create projects and programs that you would like to attend. Snacks will be provided. Ages... more
Teens are invited to help the Highland branch create projects and programs that you would like to attend. Snacks will be provided. Ages 12 – 18. Please register.

Tue, Dec 06, 10:15am - 10:45am
St. John - Children's Program Room
A 30 minute program for children, ages 4-6 and their caregiver(s). We will read books, sing songs, and take home a craft!
This event is full

Tue, Dec 06, 10:30am - 10:50am
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, Dec 06, 10:30am - 11:00am
Highland - Children's Programming Room
Storytime for children 2 & 3 years of age, with a caregiver, featuring stories, fingerplays, music and a take home craft, that teach... more
Storytime for children 2 & 3 years of age, with a caregiver, featuring stories, fingerplays, music and a take home craft, that teach early literacy skills. Please register all attending.
This event is full

Tue, Dec 06, 10:30am - 10:50am
Munster - Children's Program Room
This 20-minute lap-sit program uses songs and rhymes to foster language development.
This event is full

Tue, Dec 06, 11:30am - 12:15pm
Cedar Lake - Children's Programming Room
4 and 5 year olds will hear stories and participate in music activities, rhymes, and other activities, with an emphasis on important... more
4 and 5 year olds will hear stories and participate in music activities, rhymes, and other activities, with an emphasis on important early pre-reading skills.

Tue, Dec 06, 11:30am - 11:50am
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Children's Programming Room
Toddlers and their adult caregivers will enjoy a storytime with books, rhymes, music, and a craft. Registration Required.

Tue, Dec 06, 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Meeting Room
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, a timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life... more
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, a timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. 1hr37min, PG.

Tue, Dec 06, 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Lake Station-New Chicago - Large Meeting Room
You can also play the LCPL catalog BINGO game all month long. Learn more and get BINGO sheets at the Lake Station-New Chicago Display... more
You can also play the LCPL catalog BINGO game all month long. Learn more and get BINGO sheets at the Lake Station-New Chicago Display Case during the month of December.

Tue, Dec 06, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Highland - Children's Programming 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.

Canceled
Tue, Dec 06, 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Munster
Each session includes a series of asanas (postures) & sequences of pranayam (breathing exercises) for good health. Please bring your own... more
Each session includes a series of asanas (postures) & sequences of pranayam (breathing exercises) for good health. Please bring your own mat to class.