Children’s use of the library

Policy Number: 2.G-10
Policy Title: Children’s use of the library
Category: G: Operational Policies: Public services
Adopted: September 2011
Last Review: November 2020



Perth & District Union Public Library endeavours to serve all populations with respect. Certain additional guidelines govern the use of the library by children under 14. These guidelines are designed to balance the needs of other users with the rights of children. The library subscribes to the principles stated in the Ontario Library Association’s Position on Children’s Rights in the Public Library, 1998 (Appendix E). 

1          Children’s Use of Library Materials
For the purposes of library use, children are considered to be those under 14 years of age. Parents/guardians of children under 14 are responsible for items taken out on their child’s account, including any fines or fees incurred. Responsibility for children’s use of library materials, including computers and internet access, rests solely with their parents/guardians. It is not the library’s responsibility to restrict children’s access to any of its materials, services, or facilities, and the library will not do so. There are no restrictions on the types of material children may check out on their cards.

After a library user has turned 14, the library will not provide information about that child’s account to a parent or guardian. After that age, the child will also bear full responsibility for fees or fines incurred on the account.

2          Children’s Use of Library Space
While on library property, children are the responsibility of their parents, guardians, or caregivers. Children 5 and under must remain in the company of a caregiver of at least 14 years of age. Caregivers of children ages 6-10 must remain in the building while children are on site and are responsible for the behaviour of children in their care. Staff members do not and cannot provide child care services and do not assume responsibility for children on library property.

Disruptive, rude, threatening, or abusive behaviour may result in staff asking the child to leave or having the child banned for a period of time. Parents, guardians, or caregivers who fail to supervise children properly may also have their library privileges restricted or suspended. See Policy 2.G-11: Patron Code of Conduct.

3          Duty to Report
In accordance with the Ontario Child and Family Services Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.C.11, library staff members have a legal duty to report children who are inadequately supervised. Ontario Provincial Police and/or Family and Children’s Services of Lanark, Leeds & Grenville may be called in to deal with such situations.