The Old Bridge Public Library (“Library”) encourages the use of the Library by families and youth. We work to create a feeling of safety and comfort in our Library, but the Library is also a public place. In the Library, members of the public of all ages must share space and resources. To facilitate this, the Library has created this Youth Services Policy and our Acceptable Behavior Policy.
Supervision & safety of children
- Parents or caregivers shall be responsible for the care and behavior of children while the children are in the Library. For the Library’s purposes, caregivers are appointed by the parents or legal guardians of a child, and must be twelve (12) years of age or older.
- No child under eight (8) years of age shall be left without direct supervision of a parent or caregiver for any reason in any part of the Library. Direct supervision entails being in the immediate area, with direct visual contact of the child.
- Librarians will attempt to contact the parents of children left unattended in the Library. In the event a parent cannot be contacted, the Old Bridge Police Department will be notified.
- If a child behaves inappropriately in the Library, the Library personnel will attempt to contact a parent or caregiver either within the Library or via phone to correct such behavior. If problems persist, the Library will attempt to contact a parent or caregiver and have the child removed from the Library. If this is impossible, the Old Bridge Police Department will be contacted. Inappropriate conduct is outlined in our Acceptable Behavior Policy.
- All children should have the telephone number of someone who can assist them in an emergency.
- If a child requires close supervision or constant individual attention, regardless of age, the child should not use the Library on their own.
- Parents and caregivers must be aware of the opening and closing time of the Library. All children should be picked up or have arrangements to leave the Library at or before closing time.
- In the event a child or teenager is left in the Library after closing, Library personnel will stay with the child or teenager at the front doors of the Library for fifteen (15) minutes. After this time, if no parent or caregiver has arrived to take the child or teenager, they will be escorted to the Old Bridge Police Department to await pickup.
- As a public agency, the Library serves in the best interest of the welfare of all children. The Library is required by law (N.J.S.A. 9:6-8.10) to notify the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) in the event of suspected abuse or neglect of any child. This includes, but is not limited to: mistreatment of a child, lack of proper supervision of a child or repeatedly leaving a child unattended at the Library.
- A parent or caregiver must accompany a child aged eight (8) or younger while the child is using a multi-media computer.
- Parents or caregivers are responsible for monitoring their children’s use of the Internet. Library personnel cannot act “in loco parentis.”
- The Internet computers in the Youth Services Department cannot be used for purposes of chat or email.
Borrowing library materials
In order to borrow materials from the Library, a customer must have a Library card.
A Library card will be issued to residents after proof of residency and address has been provided to the Library. Library card applications are available at the Check Out Desk.
Children of any age can apply for Library cards. Applications must be signed by a parent or legal guardian for those applicants under seventeen (17) years of age. If a Library card is lost, there is a $2.00 replacement fee.
A customer’s Library card or I.D. shall be held by the librarian on duty while security reference materials are being used.
Programs & activities
Most programs are advertised for specific ages of children. These programs have been planned so that they are developmentally appropriate for the children of that age. Please understand that age limitations are important and are implemented for the benefit of all our children.
Some programs require pre-registration and may fill up quickly. Such programs are planned to accommodate a limited number of attendees. This is done to ensure that the attendees receive the attention they deserve and can benefit from the activities in the program. Our programs offer a learning and enrichment opportunity and we believe that small groups promote this.
Registration is done at any Library service desk or our online registration webpage, generally 2 weeks prior to the program.
Programs requiring registration, are on a first-come, first-served basis; the exception to this policy is that Library cardholders take registration precedence over those not possessing a Library card if programs are in danger of meeting their registration capacity.
Waiting lists are maintained in the event an attendee cancels an event registration. Those on the waiting list will be contacted in the order they were placed on the waiting list, with precedence given to attendees possessing a Library card.
To ensure the safety of the children attending programs, parents or caregivers must remain in the building during the program. The Library is a large and public facility. The parent or caregiver’s presence in the building during a program or while a child is using the Department helps to ensure the child’s safety.
Approved by the Board of Trustees, 02/13/2013