Cliffside Park Library Unattended Child Policy

The Cliffside Park Public Library encourages children of all ages to visit the Library and hopes they will find it a warm, inviting place to be. Programs and resources are offered to make the Library enticing to children, to help children enjoy their visits, and to develop a love of books, reading and libraries. 

The happiness and safety of children left alone at the Library can be of serious concern. Young children left on their own in the Library often become frightened or anxious. Children may be able to occupy their time for a short while, but when left unattended for any length of time when no library programs are being offered, they become bored, restless and disruptive. Young children are not safe when left unattended in the Library. The staff cannot know if the children are leaving the building with parents or with strangers. It is not the Library’s intention to seek out unattended children, but rather to have a reasoned response prepared when a problem presents itself. For the protection and well-being of children who visit our Library, the following policy has been established. 

An unattended child is defined as any child under the age of 17 using the public library and facilities unaccompanied by a parent or responsible caregiver. 



Children under 6 

Children under the age of 6 may not be left unattended by an adult in any part of the Library. If children under the age of six are found without an adult, staff will attempt to locate the parent or other caregiver. 

Programs – During story times or other programs, adults who do not attend the program with the child must remain in the building and must be visible when their children return from the program. 


Children 6-8 

Children 6-8 must have a parent or caregiver in the building with them at all times during the library visit. If children 6-8 are found without an adult, staff will attempt to locate the parent or other caregiver. 


Children 9-12 

These children are welcome to use the library unattended but should not be left alone for extended periods of time. No public place, including the Library, can guarantee the safety of children. Parents are responsible for their behavior. If a child becomes anxious or disruptive the staff will attempt to find the parent or caregiver in the Library. If they are not available the staff will call the child’s home. 


Children 13 years and older 

Children 13 and over are old enough to use the Library responsibly. If problems arise, they may be asked to leave or parents may be contacted. 


No Child 16 years or younger may be unattended in the Library one half hour before Library closing. 



The Cliffside Park Public Library will close due to emergencies such as inclement weather, power outages, etc. If the Cliffside Park Schools close because of inclement weather the Library will also close. No child may be sent to the Library if the schools close early due to emergencies. When the Library closes because of inclement weather or an emergency and school is still in session the schools will be notified and an announcement will be made. 



The Cliffside Park Library closes at 8:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 4:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 

Please remember if your child is 9 years to 16 years and is left unattended the staff must have a way of contacting the parent or caregiver at all times when they are left unattended in the library. The parent or caregiver must have definite arrangements to pick up the child before closing time. 

Thirty minutes before closing the Library on any normal day or in an emergency an adult staff member will call parent or caregiver to verify that the child will be picked up before closing. If a parent or caregiver cannot be reached after trying for 15 minutes, the child will be walked to the Police Department by a Library staff member. 

Staff cannot drive children home. 

Staff will fill out an incident report.

No child 16 years or younger may be unattended in the library in the half hour before library closing. 



Monday-Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (parent must be in the library by 7:30 p.m.) 

Friday- Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (parent must be in the library by 4:00 p.m.) 


We strongly recommend that no child remain unattended in the Library for more than 2 hours. lt has been our experience that they get tired, hungry and bored and more rambunctious. 


The form below must be returned to enable your child to stay in the Library unattended:

Unattended Child Form

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