Unattended Children

Parents and caregivers are responsible for overseeing their children during Library visits. Children visiting the Library who are eight-years-old or younger must be accompanied at all times by a responsible caregiver at least 13-years old.

Staff will ensure no child under 18-years-old is left unattended outside a Library building when the Library closes.

The Woodbridge Public Library is dedicated to serving the needs of young patrons and protecting their interests when they visit. Children of all ages are invited to use the Library and to experience feelings of welcome, warmth, and fun while they do. The Library wants to ensure visiting children are unharmed and well-supervised.

Some parents and caregivers leave their children unattended in the Library. These children may not only be in potentially dangerous situations, but in situations that may leave them bored, anxious, frightened, disruptive or restless through no fault of their own.

To keep the Library a safe and nurturing environment for children, the following procedure for protecting unattended children will be followed. This procedure also applies to older children under the age of 18 who are unattended at Library closing time. It is not the Library's intention to seek out unattended children, but to act on their behalf as necessary.


  • If a child eight-years-old or younger is left unattended, the staff will try to locate the child's parent or caregiver within the building.
  • If the parent or caregiver is not found within the building, a staff member will remain with the child until the parent or caregiver can be located.
  • If the parent or caregiver is located, the person will be informed of the Library's unattended children policy and asked to pick up the child immediately.
  • If the parent or caregiver has not been located within 30 minutes, or if the Library is closing, the police will be notified of the situation, and at least two (if possible) staff members will remain with the child until the police arrive.
  • Under no circumstances should a staff member:
    • Remove a child from a building or transport the child to another location
    • Escort a child across a street
    • Attempt to give a child food, which may cause a possible allergic reaction

Problems with an unattended child should be referred to a supervisor when possible. In the absence of a supervisor, the Library relies on the good judgment of staff members and their assessment of the situation to handle it in an appropriate manner.

Approval Dates

  • Approved - Board of Library Trustees - September 10, 2002
  • Revised - Board of Library Trustees - April 21, 2011
  • Reviewed - Board of Library Trustees - October 02, 2014
  • Revised - Board of Library Trustees - February 21, 2019