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September 19, 2018
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Library Board Policies - Children's and Youth Services

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 in print, non-print and electronic formats, as well as resources, programs and reader guidance to meet informational and recreational needs. CAYS also serves parents, caregivers and other adults.  Library staff will assist children and their parents or caregivers to evaluate and choose material tailored to their individual needs, standards and abilities.

We strive to maintain an environment that is inviting to and respectful of the needs of children and youth. For these groups, each branch of the library will have dedicated areas with appropriately-designed furnishings and equipment. 

Intellectual Freedom

The Halton Hills Public Library Board adopted the OLA’s Children’s Rights in the Public Library* statement in 1998 and their Teen Rights in the Public Library**. Subsequently, these documents are 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 responsibility of parents to monitor and decide what print or electronic materials or information they will permit their children to access.

Safety

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 their 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 and Youth Services 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. All Children’s and Youth Services staff are required to provide Vulnerable Sector Clearance.

Partnerships

Halton Hills Public Library will work with other community agencies to advocate for children and to develop strong community networks, build institutional supports, and form mutually-beneficial partnerships on behalf of children.

Revised Approved: April 11, 2018

Reviewed/Approved: September 13, 2017

Revised/Approved:  February 11, 2015

Next Scheduled Review: January 2022

 

* OLA Position on Children's Rights in the Public Library

Children in Public Libraries have the right to:

  1. Intellectual freedom
  2. Equal access to the full range of services and material available to other users.
  3. A full range of material, services and programs specifically designed and developed to meet their needs.
  4. Adequate funding for collections and services related to population, use and local community needs.
  5. A library environment that complements their physical and developmental stages.
  6. Trained and knowledgeable staff specializing in children's services.
  7. Welcoming, respectful, supportive service from birth through the transition to adult user.
  8. An advocate who will speak on their behalf to the library administration, library board, municipal council and community to make people aware of the goals of children's services.
  9. Library policies written to include the needs of the child.

** In recognizing the vital role that libraries play in literacy and youth development, the Halton Hills Public Library Board adopts:

TEEN’S RIGHTS IN THE PUBLIC LIBRARY

Teens in Ontario Public Libraries have the right to:

  1. Intellectual freedom, that is, free access to library resources and information sources and the right to select materials appropriate to their needs without censorship.
  2. Equal access to the full range of materials, services, and programs specifically designed and developed to meet their unique needs.
  3. Adequate funding for collections and services related to population, use, and local community needs.
  4. Collections that specifically meet the needs of teens.
  5. A library environment that complements their physical and developmental stages.
  6. Welcoming, respectful, supportive service at every service point.
  7. Library programs and services appropriate for teens.
  8. Trained and knowledgeable staff specializing in teen services.
  9. An advocate who will speak on their behalf to the library administration, library board, municipal council and community to make people aware of the goals of teen services.
  10. Library policies [which] are written to include the needs of the   youth.

  Based on the Ontario Library Association Statement passed in Toronto, June 11, 2010