close
Font size options
Increase or decrease the font size for this website by clicking on the 'A's.
Contrast options
Choose a color combination to give the most comfortable contrast.

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
Sat, Feb 04, 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.

Sat, Feb 04, 10:00am - 11:00am
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!

Sat, Feb 04, 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.

Mon, Feb 06, 10:30am - 11:30am
Merrillville - Meeting Room C
Classes to help prepare adults for the United States Immigration examination, to become naturalized citizens.

Mon, Feb 06, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Highland - Meeting Room A
Come and enjoy this afternoon movie with us! Seating is limited. Registration is required.

Mon, Feb 06, 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, Feb 06, 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Dyer-Schererville - Meeting Room Whole (A & B)
Teens are invited to join us as we sample books by Black authors in honor of Black History Month. From romance to science fiction,... more
Teens are invited to join us as we sample books by Black authors in honor of Black History Month. From romance to science fiction, mysteries to novels in verse, there's something for everyone!

Mon, Feb 06, 5:30pm - 6:30pm
St. John - Large Meeting Room
Earn volunteer hours and help the St. John Branch create teen programs, displays, and more! Refreshments will be served. Grades 6-12.... more
Earn volunteer hours and help the St. John Branch create teen programs, displays, and more! Refreshments will be served. Grades 6-12. Please register.

Mon, Feb 06, 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 11 - 17 can attend. Zoom available.... more
Teens get volunteer hours! Help plan programs and projects at the library. Interested teens 11 - 17 can attend. Zoom available. Registration Required.  Programs subject to change.

Mon, Feb 06, 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Merrillville - Meeting Room B
English Classes are for participants who are learning English as a second language. Different levels are available. Classes are free.

Mon, Feb 06, 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Lake Station-New Chicago - Large Meeting Room
Are you a fan of anime or manga? If so, come to our monthly Teen Anime Club to find new anime to watch. We watch 3-4 episodes of your... more
Are you a fan of anime or manga? If so, come to our monthly Teen Anime Club to find new anime to watch. We watch 3-4 episodes of your choosing each month. Ages 12-18.

Mon, Feb 06, 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. ... more
Teens are invited to help the Highland branch create projects and programs that you would like to attend. Snacks will be provided. Registration required. Ages 12 – 18.

Tue, Feb 07, 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!

Tue, Feb 07, 10:30am - 11:30am
St. John - Large Meeting Room
Join us for this month's travel film about Paris. Runtime: 60mins. Please register.

Tue, Feb 07, 10:30am - 10:50am
Merrillville - Children's Programming Room
Children ages 2-3 and their caregivers are invited to a 20-minute storytime session. Join us for books, music, and a take-home craft,... more
Children ages 2-3 and their caregivers are invited to a 20-minute storytime session. Join us for books, music, and a take-home craft, all designed to foster pre-reading skills.

Tue, Feb 07, 10:30am - 10:50am
Munster - Large Meeting 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.
This event is full

Tue, Feb 07, 10:30am - 10:50am
Highland - Children's Programming Room
A storytime program for children 2 & 3 years of age, with a caregiver, featuring stories, fingerplays, music and a take home craft, that... more
A storytime program 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.

Tue, Feb 07, 10:30am - 11:00am
Hobart - Children's Program Room
Program for babies and toddlers, birth - 23 months of age, accompanied by their caregivers, filled with rhymes, books, music, and... more
Program for babies and toddlers, birth - 23 months of age, accompanied by their caregivers, filled with rhymes, books, music, and movement designed to help early literacy skills.

Tue, Feb 07, 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, Feb 07, 11:30am - 12:15pm
Cedar Lake - Children's Programming Room
For this storytime 4 and 5 year olds will hear stories and participate in music activities, rhymes, and other activities, with an... more
For this storytime 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, Feb 07, 11:30am - 11:50am
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Children's Programming Room
A storytime program for toddlers and their adult caregivers. Attendees will enjoy a storytime with books, rhymes, music, and a craft.... more
A storytime program for toddlers and their adult caregivers. Attendees will enjoy a storytime with books, rhymes, music, and a craft. Registration Required.

Tue, Feb 07, 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Meeting Room
A heartbroken pop star (Jennifer Lopez) spontaneously weds a stranger from the audience (Owen Wilson) while live on stage. PG-13 1h 52min

Tue, Feb 07, 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Dyer-Schererville Branch - Tutor Table
Book this one-hour session to receive individualized instruction in basic technology skills. Registrant may be contacted before the... more
Book this one-hour session to receive individualized instruction in basic technology skills. Registrant may be contacted before the session to discuss the type of help needed.
This event is full

Tue, Feb 07, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Children's Programming Room
A program for children of all ages and their families to come craft homemade valentines, all supplies included!

Tue, Feb 07, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Highland - Children's Programming Room
In this program children in grades K-5 will learn how to make a heart-shaped bird feeder, and other simple feeders, to help our... more
In this program children in grades K-5 will learn how to make a heart-shaped bird feeder, and other simple feeders, to help our feathered friends during the height of winter, when they need it most.

Tue, Feb 07, 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Munster - Large Meeting Room
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.

Tue, Feb 07, 6:00pm - 7:45pm
Merrillville - Meeting Room B
We are proud to be hosting a support, education, & social space for LGBTQ+ teens & their allies. Teens (12-18) are welcome.

Wed, Feb 08, 10:30am - 11:30am
Merrillville - Meeting Room C
Classes to help prepare adults for the United States Immigration examination, to become legal Citizens.

Wed, Feb 08, 10:30am - 10:50am
Merrillville - Children's Programming Room
Babies up to 23 months and their families are invited to a 20-minute lapsit program of rhymes, songs, knee bounces, and other activities... more
Babies up to 23 months and their families are invited to a 20-minute lapsit program of rhymes, songs, knee bounces, and other activities designed to foster early child development.

Wed, Feb 08, 1:00pm - 3:00pm
St. John - Large Meeting Room
Do you enjoy crafting? Do you wish you had friendly people to work with on those crafts? Bring your current project and enjoy the... more
Do you enjoy crafting? Do you wish you had friendly people to work with on those crafts? Bring your current project and enjoy the company every Wednesday! All crafts are welcome.

Wed, Feb 08, 1:30pm - 1:50pm
Munster - Children's Program Room
Storytime featuring stories, fingerplays, music, and a take home craft that teach pre-reading skills for kids 4-6. Please note NEW... more
Storytime featuring stories, fingerplays, music, and a take home craft that teach pre-reading skills for kids 4-6. Please note NEW afternoon time.

Wed, Feb 08, 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Cedar Lake - Meeting Room A
Homeschool children are invited to attend a program exploring a STEAM topic each session. The only requirement is imagination and... more
Homeschool children are invited to attend a program exploring a STEAM topic each session. The only requirement is imagination and registration!

Wed, Feb 08, 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Lake Station-New Chicago - Large Meeting Room
Come hang out at the library and play the Nintendo Switch and board games! We provide the games...you bring your friends to join in on... more
Come hang out at the library and play the Nintendo Switch and board games! We provide the games...you bring your friends to join in on the fun! Ages 12-18.

Wed, Feb 08, 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, Feb 08, 5:30pm - 6:45pm
St. John - Large Meeting Room
Join the Page Turners as we discuss "Unsettled Ground" by Claire Fuller. Books are available at the St. John Branch circulation desk.

Wed, Feb 08, 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Hobart - Children's Program Room
Join us as we create a project with Crayon wax. Dress for a messy time!

Wed, Feb 08, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Munster - Large Meeting Room
Printmaker Ida Short will be visiting with her antique table top printing presses! Learn about the art of letterpress and make your own... more
Printmaker Ida Short will be visiting with her antique table top printing presses! Learn about the art of letterpress and make your own valentines.

Wed, Feb 08, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Lake Station-New Chicago - Children's Program Room
School age children are invited to explore science, technology, engineering, art, and math with fun projects at the library. Please wear... more
School age children are invited to explore science, technology, engineering, art, and math with fun projects at the library. Please wear clothes you do not mind getting messy in.

Wed, Feb 08, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Highland - Meeting Room A
This month we will be making paper quilled valentines! Quilling is an art that uses thin strips of paper to make designs. Space is... more
This month we will be making paper quilled valentines! Quilling is an art that uses thin strips of paper to make designs. Space is limited. Registration is required for all attendees.

Wed, Feb 08, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Hobart - Programming Room
Join us and earn volunteer hours while helping us plan teen programming and services. For grades 6-12. Also, bring your art supplies... more
Join us and earn volunteer hours while helping us plan teen programming and services. For grades 6-12. Also, bring your art supplies and draw anything you like.

Wed, Feb 08, 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Children's Programming Room
Each session will highlight a different artist- we will learn about their craft and try out their unique style for ourselves. 6 week... more
Each session will highlight a different artist- we will learn about their craft and try out their unique style for ourselves. 6 week program; sign up for all or choose individual sessions to attend
This event is full

Thu, Feb 09, 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, Feb 09, 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.

Thu, Feb 09, 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Merrillville - Meeting Room A
Earn volunteer hours while helping us plan teen programming and services. For grades 6-12.

Thu, Feb 09, 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Merrillville - Meeting Room C
English Classes are for participants who are learning English as a second language. Different levels are available. Classes are free.

Fri, Feb 10, 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Hobart - Children's Program Room
Join us as we speed solve Rubik's Cube puzzles. All skill levels are welcome. Rubik's Cubes are supplied.

Sat, Feb 11, 10:00am - 12:00pm
Merrillville - Meeting Room B
Interested in any of the needle arts including knit, crochet, cross-stitch, and more? Join us for an opportunity to chat and create.... more
Interested in any of the needle arts including knit, crochet, cross-stitch, and more? Join us for an opportunity to chat and create. Please bring your own projects.

Sat, Feb 11, 10:00am - 12:00pm
St. John - Large Meeting Room
Create a suncatcher using glass pebbles. All materials will be provided. Space is limited and registration is required. Please... more
Create a suncatcher using glass pebbles. All materials will be provided. Space is limited and registration is required. Please register for only one session to allow more people to attend.
This event is full

Sat, Feb 11, 10:30am - 12:00pm
Merrillville - Children's Programming Room
Kids ages 6 months through 3 years old and their caregivers will enjoy interacting at various block play stations. Registration for all... more
Kids ages 6 months through 3 years old and their caregivers will enjoy interacting at various block play stations. Registration for all children & adults attending is required.
This event is full

Mon, Feb 13, 10:30am - 11:30am
Merrillville - Meeting Room C
Classes to help prepare adults for the United States Immigration examination, to become naturalized citizens.

Mon, Feb 13, 11:00am - 12:00pm
Dyer-Schererville Branch - Tutor table
Book this one-hour session to receive individualized instruction in basic technology skills. Registrant may be contacted before the... more
Book this one-hour session to receive individualized instruction in basic technology skills. Registrant may be contacted before the session to discuss the type of help needed.
This event is full

Mon, Feb 13, 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Meeting Room
The discovery of a girl abandoned by the side of the road threatens to unearth the long-buried secrets of a Texas town.

Mon, Feb 13, 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Dyer-Schererville - Meeting Room Whole (A & B)
International Film Series. Adults only. English. 100 Minutes. Registration required.

Mon, Feb 13, 1:00pm - 1:20pm
Dyer-Schererville - Children's Programming Room
A storytime program featuring stories, fingerplays, music, and a take home craft that teach pre-reading skills for kids 4-6.

Mon, Feb 13, 1:00pm - 1:20pm
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Children's Programming Room
This is a storytime for kids 4-6 years old, featuring stories, music and take home craft, that help develop early literacy skills. Must... more
This is a storytime for kids 4-6 years old, featuring stories, music and take home craft, that help develop early literacy skills. Must register.

Mon, Feb 13, 4:30pm - 5:30pm
Merrillville
Children (completed grades K-5) may free build with the library's LEGO® blocks or build a 'challenge' project.

Rescheduled
Mon, Feb 13, 5:30pm - 6:30pm
New date Monday, February 13, 4:30pm - 5:30pm
Merrillville
Children (completed grades K-5) may free build with the library's LEGO® blocks or build a 'challenge' project.

Mon, Feb 13, 5:30pm - 6:15pm
Cedar Lake - Children's Programming Room
A storytime for preschoolers and their families where they can enjoy books, finger plays, and music. Feel free to wear pajamas!

Mon, Feb 13, 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Hobart - Large Meeting Room
Join us and explore using cork to make heart decor. Please register!

Mon, Feb 13, 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Merrillville - Meeting Room B
English Classes are for participants who are learning English as a second language. Different levels are available. Classes are free.

Mon, Feb 13, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
St. John - Large Meeting Room
Decorate some cookies for Valentine's Day with frosting, sprinkles, candies, and more! Ages 12-18. Registration required.

Mon, Feb 13, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Lake Station-New Chicago - Large Meeting Room
Join us and learn how to create your own photo album using envelopes. Registration is required. Supplies will be provided. It's... more
Join us and learn how to create your own photo album using envelopes. Registration is required. Supplies will be provided. It's recommended to bring a favorite greeting card to use as a cover.

Mon, Feb 13, 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Highland - Meeting Room A
Whether you are a fan or dislike Valentine's day, there will be something for you. Teens can attend for activities, crafts, and snacks.... more
Whether you are a fan or dislike Valentine's day, there will be something for you. Teens can attend for activities, crafts, and snacks. Ages 12 - 18. Registration required.