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December 15, 2017
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Library Board Policies - Children's and Youth Services

“Kids are welcome here!” This statement sums up the philosophy of Children’s and Youth Services (CAYS) at the Halton Hills Public Library.

Every young person, from infancy through the teen years, will have access to the services of the Halton Hills Public Library. The library will provide appropriate material, resources, programs and reader guidance to meet his/her informational and recreational needs.

We strive to maintain an environment that is inviting to and respectful of children’s needs.  In each branch, the library provides areas dedicated to children and youth.  These areas will have appropriately designed furnishings and equipment.  Library staff will assist children and his/her parents or caregivers to evaluate and choose material tailored to his/her individual needs, standards and abilities.

CAYS’ staff and collections also serve parents and adults who work with, are interested in, or have an informational need regarding children’s literature and development.

The Halton Hills Public Library Board adopted the OLA’s Children’s Rights in the Public Librarystatement in 1998 (Appendix 7b) and subsequently this document is reflected in all of our children’s and youth policies. The document states that children have the right to intellectual freedom and the right to access all information and services in the library.  The library has no mandate to act “in loco parentis” and thus it is the parent’s responsibility to monitor and decide what print or electronic materials or information they will permit his/her child to access.

Unaccompanied Children

The Halton Hills Public Library is committed to the well-being and safety of children.   We want children to enjoy the spaces, services and programs designed with his/her needs and interests in mind.  However, any public place may present risks for young children who are not accompanied by a parent, guardian or responsible caregiver.  To reduce these risks, Halton Hills Public Library requires that children under the age 10 years must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or a responsible person 12 years of age or older except when attending a children-only library program.

Children’s staff may assume temporary supervision of a child while the child is attending a children-only library program, otherwise, staff will not be responsible for supervising or monitoring accompanied or unaccompanied children of any age. The responsibility for the safety and behaviour of children in the library rests with the parent, guardian, or caregiver and not with the library staff.

All Halton Hills Public Library staff are required, under the Child and Family Services Act, to report to the Children’s Aid Society, suspicions of physical, emotional or sexual abuse of children who are or appear to be, under the age of 16 years.

Halton Hills Public Library will work with other community agencies to advocate for children and to develop strong community networks and supports on behalf of children.

A more detailed description of Children’s/Youth policies can be found in Appendix #7a.

Reviewed/Approved: September 13, 2017

Revised/Approved: February 11, 2015

Next Scheduled Review: January 2022