Children’s Safety Policy


I. INTRODUCTION

The Florence County Library System provides an inviting, educational, and fun place for students and children who use our library facilities. Many entertaining and educational programs are planned for children in Florence  County in the hopes that they will become life-long library users.

Children left unattended at the library may become bored and disruptive. Young children left alone become frightened and anxious. Older children and adolescents may become disruptive, disturbing others as well as interfering with the responsibilities of the staff.

The following policy is established to protect and provide for the well-being of children who use the library and to provide a written statement of the library’s responsibility and/or liability.

 

II. STATEMENT OF POLICY

Adults* are responsible for the behavior of their children while in the library. Children, age 10 and younger, must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Children, ages 11-17, will be responsible for their behavior within the library. Parents will be notified of inappropriate behavior and library visitation may be restricted.

Children, ages 11-13 may not be left unattended for prolonged periods*.

Organizations bringing groups of children to the library must follow the ratio of adult to children listed below for chaperones. Groups must have an “adult” chaperone with them at all times.

Birth to one year:           1 chaperone for 5 children

One to two years:           1 chaperone for 6 children

Two to three years:       1 chaperone for 8 children

Three to four years:       1 chaperone for 12 children

Four to five years:          1 chaperone for 17 children

Five to six years:             1 chaperone for 20 children

Six to twelve years:       1 chaperone for 23 children

 

“Adults”* using the children’s section of the library either must have a child with them or be conducting research for children’s homework or working on a college degree working with children.

*”Prolonged periods” is defined as longer than three hours.
*”Adults” are defined as being 18 years or older.

Revised & Adopted by
Florence County Library
Board of Trustees 11/2/2009

 

III. CODE OF CONDUCT

 

Rules and regulations for conduct in the Florence County Library System.

One of the goals of the Florence County Library System is to provide  quality service to all of the citizens of the county in an environment that is safe and pleasant and conducive to learning, whether of a recreational or scholarly nature. Thus the following Code of Conduct has been adopted to ensure that the rights of all library users are protected and not abused in any manner.

THE FOLLOWING TYPES OF BEHAVIOR AND ACTIONS ARE PROHIBITED IN LIBRARY FACILITIES AND ON LIBRARY PROPERTY:

 

  1. Actions or behaviors which are disruptive, disturbing, or potentially harmful to others.
  2. Loud conversations or other noise-producing activities which may be disturbing to other users, including the use of electronic or mechanical devices and obscene and/or abusive language. This includes personal cellular and digital telephones. You may use your personal telephones outside the library on the portico.
  3. Disorderly conduct which includes fighting, running, challenging others to a fight or provoking violence in any manner.
  4. The removal of equipment or materials from the library by not adhering to established checkout procedures and policies, or any other intentional acts to violate library policies and procedures.
  5. The deliberate mutilation, destruction, or theft of library materials, equipment or property, or the possessions of library patrons and staff.
  6. Repeated or excessive harassment or an invasion of the privacy of library staff or patrons.
  7. Any form of sexual activity including the abuse or harassment of others, exhibitionism, or indecent exposure.
  8. The consumption of any tobacco products or smoking devices such as e-cigarettes or vaporizers.
  9. The bringing of food and drink items into the Library, or the consumption of food and drink unless as noted in the two (2) exceptions below:

A. Baby bottles and non-spill (“sippy”) cups are allowed for consumption of liquids by infants and toddlers, respectively.

B. Light refreshments may be transported to, and consumed in, a meeting room provided that prior approval has been granted by the Director for
such refreshments to be served at a scheduled meeting.

  1. The consumption and possession of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs.
  1. Improper use of restrooms for things such as bathing, loitering, or solicitations.
  1. Unauthorized or unscheduled group meetings in public or non-public areas of the library, including the meeting room.

13. The posting of materials for the purpose of surveys, solicitations, political campaigns, advertising, or selling without the authorization of the Library Director.

14. The use of the library for child-care services, including the non-accompaniment of children under the age of five by a responsible person for any length of
time, and children of any age being left unattended for extended periods of time, or beyond the closing time of the library.

  1. The refusal to leave the library at the designated time of closing.

16. Loitering.

17. The use of the library to sleep for extended periods of time, and bringing items such as luggage and bedrolls into the library.

18. Any type of interference with the free movement of other patrons or staff members (actual or potential) by bringing into the library items or materials that
require excessive amounts of space, that are distractions, or that may cause physical harm or danger.

19. Unauthorized, improper, or unsafe use of the library’s parking areas; vehicles may be towed at the owner’s expense.

20. Animals in the library, with the exception of guide dogs, or those animals being used for library programs.

21. Activities or behaviors that are potentially harmful to library patrons and staff, or that can damage library facilities, property, or equipment such as wearing
skates or using skateboards.

22. The unauthorized use of non-public telephones, equipment, and supplies designated for library staff use.

23. The possession of concealed and/or illegal weapons of any kind.

24. Any violation of the library’s dress code, which requires patrons to be fully clothed and wearing shoes.

25. Smells or odors which constitute a nuisance or interfere with others’ ability to use the library.

Violation of any of the above rules and guidelines may result in removal from the building, restriction of library privileges, and/or notification of local police. Repeated or flagrant violations of the code of conduct, or immediate threats of harm or danger to library patrons or staff, may result in legal restrictions of access to the library, pursuant to South Carolina Code Section 16-11-625.

 APPROVED BY THE FLORENCE COUNTY BOARD OF TRUSTEES
11/3/2014