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Unattended Children Policy During COVID-19 Pandemic

 

UNATTENDED CHILDREN POLICY DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

The Board of Trustees of the Kenosha Public Library adopts and makes public the following written policies.

PURPOSE

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed severe limitations on the in-person interactions between Youth and Family Services staff and the children they serve.  For the health and safety of all children who visit the Kenosha Public Library, and to maintain the library’s occupancy and spacing restrictions in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of Trustees of the Kenosha Public Library must modify the current Unattended Children Policy to enable the library to serve as many community members as possible in the safest manner under the pandemic health guidelines in place.

REMOTE LIBRARY SERVICE ALTERNATIVES FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

The library is actively partnering with local schools to support student learning through bookmobile visits, deposit collections, and curbside pickup of library materials. BrainFuse, a live tutoring and homework help service for all ages staffed by licensed teachers, is available free of charge 24/7 from the library’s website. Ebooks, research databases with magazine articles, and online encyclopedias for K-12 learners are also available from the library’s website. Students may call the library to talk with librarians for help answering their questions or to order library materials and get reading advice. Students should utilize these services as much as possible as an alternative to physical visits to the library.

VISITING THE LIBRARY

As library facilities gradually restore normal public hours, occupancy restrictions and social distancing will be utilized to support public health. Families are encouraged to visit the library together to collect research and curriculum support materials and are asked to limit their visits to no more than 2 hours in order to allow other community members to use the library under occupancy restrictions.

The library cannot serve as an alternative classroom for young students enrolled in  online school. Children twelve years of age and younger must be accompanied and directly supervised by a responsible adult caregiver who assumes full accountability for the children’s safety and behavior in the library during the assigned school day (8am-3pm Monday-Friday) . “Directly supervised” means the child and the caregiver must be able to observe one another at all times. Children 9 years and older may use the library independently all other hours the library is open.

Library staff members do not serve in loco parentis or as teacher substitutes for children in the library. 

Library staff will attempt to contact the parent or guardian of unattended children whose presence does not comply with policy or whose behavior is disruptive. In the event that the parent or guardian cannot be located, staff will contact the Kenosha Police Department. In the event of an emergency, staff will call 911.

Approved, KPL Board of Trustees: 
Tuesday, August 11, 2020