The Thomas County Public Library System welcomes children and young adults. We provide special services and programs to help them enjoy their visits and develop a love of books, reading, and libraries.
To protect the safety of children, parents may not leave children unattended in the library for extended periods of time. The responsibility for the safety and behavior of children in the library rests with their parents/caregivers, not with the library staff.
The library requires children and young adults and their parents/caregivers to follow these guidelines:
- Children eight and under must be attended by an adult or responsible older sibling (at least 13) at all times.
- Children aged eight to 12 may use the library unaccompanied for a brief time when they are involved in specific, planned activities such as homework, research, quiet reading, browsing, or attending library programs.
- Teenagers may use the library unaccompanied, subject to the rules of conduct that apply to all library users. Teens are treated as adults in many respects. However, they are still legally the responsibility of their parents/caregivers, and should always have an emergency contact available.
- Disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. Children and young adults who become unruly will be asked to leave the premises. If their behavior constitutes a crime or is dangerous or threatening, police will be called.
- Children may not remain at the library after closing. Parents/caregivers are responsible for making sure their children have a safe way to leave the premises before the library closes. Staff may request police assistance with unattended children left after hours.
- Parents/caregivers are responsible for the behavior and welfare of their children when they are using the library.
Computer Use Guidelines
- Children under age six must be accompanied by a responsible adult or older sibling (at least 13) at all times while using a computer.
- Only a parent/guardian may sign a child up to use the Internet.
- Children under 12 must have an adult accompany them while using the Internet.
- Young adults aged 12-17 must have a parent/guardian to register them for Internet access and they must have their cards.
- All computers that access the Internet have filtering in place that meets legal requirements. However, the best filter will always be parents/caregivers who can define what they find acceptable for their own family.
Safety Tips for Public Places
- Libraries are public places. Parents/caregivers should never leave young children alone in any public place.
- Parents should not leave young children in one section of the library while browsing in another. Infants and toddlers should be carried, in strollers, or holding an adult’s hand.
- Encourage older children to use the buddy system. There is greater safety in numbers.
- Know the times and route(s) your child travels to and from school, the library, or other places he/she might go independently.
- Make sure your child knows his/her full name, parents’ name, address, and phone number.
The Children’s Department at TCPLS is happy to host groups such as school classes, scouting troops, homeschool groups, and more. With at least a two week notice, the library can plan a special program for your group, whether it’s an introduction to the library, instructions on how to use the card catalog or GALILEO, or a special storytime. If you would like to bring a group to the library, you must call the Children’s Department at 225-5252 at least two weeks in advance to schedule a time and make arrangements. When you call, please have the following information ready:
- The name of your organization
- The date and time you would like to visit the library
- The name of the adult(s) who will be attending
- How many children will be attending
- The ages of the children
- What you expect from the visit (storytime, tour, etc.)