The digital divide gets a lot of attention. But in addition to serving the growing digital needs of the community, libraries also serve our children by bridging what I like to term the parental divide. By parental divide, I mean that although some parents stay at home or have babysitters or tutors to look after their kids, many don’t! Some kids are on their own until their parents come home from work. And sometimes things are just rough at home. So where can these kids go? The library! In this way, the library staff becomes a kind of a substitute parent. We make sure the kids are doing their homework, we look at their report cards, we feed them and give them Band-Aids when they get hurt, we make sure they are occupied in a positive way, we teach them courtesies like saying “hello” and “thank you” and the right ways of behaving in a public space.
Posts Tagged ‘unattended children in the library’
Like many public libraries, Brookfield (IL)Public Library had a problem with unsupervised kids hanging out at the library after school. The children gathered in the cozy youth area and due to space constraints, seemingly overtook the library. Their youthful exuberance was considered by some to be loud and disruptive. In response, Executive Director, Kimberly Coughran […]
Public libraries are reflections of their communities. This sometimes can include the uglier side of the public, like disruptive behavior, vandalism, or other criminal acts. How can we ensure our libraries are welcoming places?
The Jacksonsville (Florida) Public Library as well as Mesa Public Library in Los Alamos, New Mexico, require children younger than age eight to have an adult caretaker in the immediate vicinity 1. The American Library Association publishes an entire resource guide about developing a policy regarding unattended children at the library and any librarian working in youth services knows that there are no easy answers regarding the issue.