Children in the Library

The Bellingham Library is committed to providing a wide range of services and programs to all library users regardless of age.  Service to children is of vital importance.  The policy on children in the library is not intended to restrict library service to children; rather the policy was adopted to insure the general safety and well-being of all children who use the library.

Preschool and kindergarten children must be supervised by a responsible person (parent, mature relative, or care provider) at all times while visiting the library.
Elementary school age children may use the library, subject to the rules regarding proper behavior, provided a parent is in the building.
Middle and high school age children may use the library unattended for an amount of time appropriate to their age and maturity.

Children who violate the behavior policy will be informed of the rules.  If the behavior continues, the child shall be asked to leave the library.  Staff members are not obligated to contact a parent or guardian if the minor child is asked to leave the library property for violation of the behavior policy.

Minor children who are in chronic violation of the behavior policy will be required to be accompanied by a parent or guardian during library visits for a period to be determined by the Director.

Responsible persons must remain in programs with children who require supervision, regardless of age.

The library does not assume responsibility for the behavior or safety of children of any age who are left unaccompanied in the library.  This includes watching children while parents participate in library programs or other activities in the library.

Parents are liable for all damages done by their children to the library facility.

If a child of any age is not picked up by closing time, the library staff will make every attempt to locate the parents by telephone.  If the staff is unable to reach the parents, the library staff will contact the Bellingham Police Department.