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Library seeks public comment on child policy change

(Jackson, Wyo.) - Do you think that the Teton County Library needs to change its policies when it comes to children? Starting yesterday, a proposed change to Teton County Library’s Policy for Children is open for public comment for sixty days, now through Wednesday, March 2. At its monthly public meeting in December, the Library Board approved a staff recommendation to change the current policy, which was originally approved in 2001. The decision to change the policy came after the library saw a significant increase in kids each day after school, which caused management to increase staffing during those times. "The library has implemented strategies, like staffing adjustments and a fall public education campaign, to address the challenge of meeting the community’s need for a safe afterschool space for kids, while simultaneously providing mission-driven opportunities for young library patrons. The proposed policy change is another such strategy," stated the Teton County Library in a release issued yesterday. At the December Library Board meeting, staff recommended an addition to the current policy, specifically, that the caregiver of a child under 8 be at least 12 years of age. “The Library Board and staff recognize that the proposed policy change is not the ultimate solution to the challenge we’re facing,” said Isabel Zumel, the library’s Assistant Director, “but we hope it can help to develop strategies that address the problem at the both library level and the community level.” *Proposed Policy Revision: Library Policy for Children* 1. Parents or caregivers are responsible for the supervision of their children at all times. Children under 8 years of age may not be left unattended at the library. Children under 8 must be accompanied by a caregiver who is at least 12 years of age. If a child under 8 years of age is left unattended during library hours, parents will be notified. If left unattended after hours and parents cannot be notified, police will be called. 2. Children behaving in an unsafe, disruptive or disrespectful manner will be asked to leave the library. Repetitive misbehavior may be documented in an incident report and may result in loss of library privileges. 3. The library is not responsible for children’s use of library resources and materials. Parents and guardians are responsible for their children’s use of library resources and materials. 4. Children or their caregivers must sign up for use of library resources and materials, and designated time limits must be respected. *Library Policy for Children: Adopted April 18, 2001* 1. Parents or caregivers are responsible for the supervision of their children at all times. If a child under 8 years of age is left unattended during library hours, parents will be notified. If left unattended after hours and parents cannot be notified, police will be called. 2. Inappropriate behavior will result in a warning to the child and/or parent. Repetitive misbehavior may be documented in an incident report and a third occurrence may result in dismissal from the library or loss of library privileges. 3. Parents and guardians must assume responsibility for children's use of computers and Internet. 4. Children or their caregivers must sign up for use of computer game stations as well as Internet terminals, and designated time limits must be respected. Any change to Teton County Library policy requires a public comment period ahead of approval by the Library Board and then implementation by staff. Feedback, comments, ideas and concerns can be submitted via email to board@tclib.org. Community members are also welcome to share their comments at Library Board meetings on Thursday, January 21, and February 18, at noon. After the close of the comment period, a public hearing, held at noon on Thursday, March 17 (at the beginning of the Library Board’s regular meeting), provides another opportunity for community members to share their perspectives. *Feature Photo: Afterschool in Teen-Children's Wing. h/t Teton County Library / Pitchengine Communities * #buckrail #news