Information for Parents of BMS and BHS Students who Visit the Library After School

The new Teen Room at the library opened in May of 2016 and in the after school hours since, we’ve had 30-50 sixth through twelfth graders visiting the space daily.

We have a variety of programs for middle and high school students and we suggest you check our online event calendar for details of those events.

Parking Lot Safety

We have noticed that children leaving the library building often do so without exercising proper caution in the parking lot, both on foot and on bicycles.  When we witness it, we make clear to them that cars are coming and going from the lot and they need to be more cautious.  However, library staff does not routinely supervise the outside of the library building.

Occasionally, we have had issues with children disrespecting library property by climbing trees, going into staff only and mechanical areas, as well as congregating in the parking lot impeding automobile and patron access by playing or just standing in groups. This is simply unsafe.   Too often we see groups of children congregating  in areas that are meant for automobiles, or playing on the edge of a sidewalk where one step could put them into the path of a car, and although we ask them to move, as stated above, we do not routinely supervise outside of the library building.

We ask that you aid us in informing your children that the parking lot is not a congregating or recreation area.  If your child is NOT using library services, we ask that they not loiter on library property in the after school hours.

Supervision & Attendance

Click here for the full text of the library policy on Children in the Library.
Click here for the full text of our Behavior Policy.

Our programs and the library building are supervised by library staff, but children who come to the library are free to use most areas of the building and are also free to come and go from the building.  We often have children who attend a program for a short time, leave the building, and return a while later.

It is most important that parents understand that the library does not act “in loco parentis”.  Permitting your child to come to the library after school unattended is akin to dropping them off at the mall.  Library policy states:  “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.”

Policy also states:  “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.”

When you register your child for a library program, it is up to you to ensure they attend.  We do not verify that those who are registered choose to attend.

 

Keeping in touch with your child

We often receive phone calls from parents inquiring if their child is at the library or wishing to speak with their child.  We are unable to search the building to locate a child or permit our phones to be used by the public, except in cases of emergencies.  We ask that you coordinate details with your child so that they are able to contact you, and vice versa.

You should be aware that the cell signal in many areas of the library is not consistent and calls are often not able to be made or received inside the building.  The best way to communicate with your child may be through a service that uses WiFi as our WiFi signal is active throughout the building.

We also have a constant issue with children asking to use the phone to call to be picked up.  Our telephone lines are needed for library business, so we ask that you plan in advance a time for pickup, or arrange for your child to have access to a phone.  From now on, we will only be calling a parent/guardian one time in a 3 month period, unless it is an emergency situation.

Library Cards

Often children come to the library without their library cards.  We ask that if your child will need to use the library computers or check out library materials that they carry their card with them.   Library staff has the authority to refuse lending library materials without proper identification.

Library Spaces

Teen Room – The Teen Room is open and we encourage all 6th to 12th graders to spend their after school hours in that area.  The room has study tables and Internet access, a great space for doing homework.  If the Teen Room is too noisy for quiet study or Internet work, there are other options for 6th to 12th graders.

Adult Study, Lounge & Computer Area – Students are welcome to use these areas knowing they need to be respectful of appropriate noise levels, as people are often studying in these areas.

Quiet Room – The Quiet Room is open as a group quiet study room.  The door is closed and all people in the room have a cubicle for quiet study.  No talking is permitted in this room and cellphones must be on silent.

Study Room – The Study Room is available for individual high school students (grades 8-12) and for groups of up to four people, as long as the person who signs out the room is over 18 and one of the participants. The Study Room may be used for group or quiet study for up to one hour (longer if no one is waiting to use the room). The room is available on a first-come, first-served basis, and users must sign in at the circulation desk to use the room. Food and drink is allowed in the room, but all trash must be removed from the room and the room must be left in good condition when vacated. It is the responsibility of the person signing out the room to make sure it is in good condition before leaving.

Children’s Program Room – On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we have after school programming in the Children’s Program Room for 4th to 7th graders.

Children’s Room – Fourth and fifth graders that are not attending library programs should be in the Children’s Room area of the library, not in the adult area, unless they need to use the computers.