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Jean & Alexander Heard Libraries

Annette and Irwin Eskind Family Biomedical Library and Learning Center

Minors in the Library

The safety, security, and behavior of children in the Eskind Family Biomedical Library and Learning Center are the responsibility of a parent or adult caregiver, not library staff.  Children under the age of 15 must always be under the direct supervision of a parent or adult caregiver.

Concerns

  • Library staff cannot be responsible for a child's safety and security. This situation could possibly put a child at risk. If a child wishes to leave the library, alone or with a stranger, the library staff cannot legally detain the child, even if the parent has instructed the child to remain within the library in the parent's or caregiver’s absence. If an unattended child is injured or becomes ill while in the library, members of library staff are unlikely to be able to contact a parent or caregiver and cannot authorize medical care for the child.
  •  The Eskind Family Biomedical Library and Learning Center’s primary function is for medical study and research. For this reason, the library’s internet access is unfiltered.  Library staff cannot guarantee the appropriateness of material accessed from our computers.
  •  The library wishes to maintain an environment that is conducive to study and research. Library resources are intended for the adult researcher and advanced student, not for children. A bored child can become restless and be a distractive to others in the library, potentially injuring themselves, or damaging library equipment or furniture.

Responsibilities of Library Staff

  • If a child who has been accompanied by an adult but has been left unsupervised acts inappropriately (i.e. distracting other patrons, playing with library equipment), library staff will make an effort to locate that adult in the library and inform him/her that the child must be under direct supervision. A staff member will then provide the adult with the library’s handout on unattended children. If the child continues to act inappropriately, both the adult and child will be asked to leave. If the parent or caregiver desires additional information, he/she should be referred to the policy regarding minors in the library, available at the Circulation Desk.
  • If a child is left in the library without any adult present, a staff member will ask the child for his/her parent's name and telephone number and attempt to reach the parent or caregiver by telephone. A staff member will then tell the parent or caregiver that the child must not be left in the library without supervision. When the parent arrives, a staff member will provide the parent or caregiver the library’s handout on unattended children. If the parent or caregiver desires additional information, he/she should be referred to the policy regarding minors in the library, available at the Circulation Desk.  If the parent cannot be reached, a staff member should call VU Police.
  • If at closing time a child is found left alone in the library, VU Police should be notified at once.
  • In the event that an unattended child in the library becomes ill or is injured, a staff member will, if possible, notify the child's parent or caregiver. In an emergency, VU Police should be notified at once.