West Springfield Public Library Children Code of Conduct
The West Springfield Public Library trusts that children who use the library will find the facility to be a warm and inviting place to develop a love of books, reading, and the library itself.
The Youth Services department of the West Springfield Public Library is reserved for use by children, their parents, guardians or caregivers, and adults interested in children's literature. The Young Adult area on the second floor is reserved for young adults and those who accompany them.
Many programs are offered to make the library enticing to children. However, when children are left unattended for several hours when no library programs are offered, they can become disruptive, and are not safe. The staff cannot know if children are leaving the building with their parents or strangers. In order to create an environment of safety, and maintain an atmosphere where reading and study can be encouraged, the following policy has been created:
Children are expected to adhere to the same rules as stated for all patrons, with the following additions:
- Children 8 years of age or younger must be continually attended by a responsible adult while in the library.
- Children 6 years of age or older attending programs may be supervised by the library staff only during the scheduled time of the program.
- The library phone is not available to the public for making calls. Library staff will assist children in contacting family/caregivers if necessary.
- Library staff members will not transport children from the library to any other location.
- Children who misbehave in the library, no matter what age, are subject to removal from the building and/or restriction of library privileges as per the Library's Code of Conduct.
- The police department will be notified if any child has been left alone or unattended, too long or repeatedly.
- At closing: Parents and guardians are reminded that all children under the age of 16 must not be left unattended at the library’s normal closing time. Children not picked up by closing time will be walked to the Police Department by staff.
- Caregivers shall change diapers on the changing station located in the public restroom in the Youth Services department.
- A mother may breastfeed her child in the library. (See MGL: Ch. 111, Section 221, attached)
- Out of concern for the safety of young patrons, adults who are unaccompanied by a child or children in the children’s area may be questioned by the staff, and may be asked to move to another area of the library.
- Misconduct or misuse of library property on the part of juveniles is the responsibility of their parents or guardians.
Breastfeeding: MGL: Ch. 111, Section 221
Adopted on June 7, 2016 by the Board of Library Trustees
The 189th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Massachusetts Laws
PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
TITLE XVI PUBLIC HEALTH
CHAPTER 111 PUBLIC HEALTH
Section 221 Breastfeeding in a public place
Section 221. (a) A mother may breastfeed her child in any public place or establishment or place which is open to and accepts or solicits the patronage of the general public and where the mother and her child may otherwise lawfully be present.
(b) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the act of a mother breastfeeding her child, and any exposure of a breast incidental thereto that is solely for the purpose of nursing such child, shall not be considered lewd, indecent, immoral, or unlawful conduct.
(c) No person or entity, including a governmental entity, shall, with the intent to violate a mother's right under subsection (a), restrict, harass or penalize a mother who is breastfeeding her child.
(d) The attorney general may bring a civil action for equitable relief to restrain or prevent a violation of subsection (c).
(e) A civil action may be brought under this section by a mother subjected to a violation of subsection (c). In any such action, the court may: (i) award actual damages in an amount not to exceed $500; (ii) enter an order to restrain such unlawful conduct; and (iii) award reasonable attorney fees.
(f) A place of religious instruction or worship shall not be subject to this section.
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