Children’s & Youth Services Policy
The purpose of this policy is to outline East Gwillimbury Public Library services specific to children and youth, including topics of unattended children and rights and responsibilities of parents. This policy provides a framework for how the Library achieves its Core Purpose in serving children, youth, and in outlining parental responsibilities.
The Library services outlined in this policy pertain to children and youth, including their parents, guardians, and/or caregivers. The Library supports the OLA Position on Children’s Rights in the Public Library (Appendix A) and its Position for Teen’s Rights in the Public Library (Appendix B).
The Library offers inviting areas for children and youth that promote library materials and programs and are accessible to the specific needs of children, youth, and their families.
The Library employs qualified staff to deliver and manage children’s services and supports their professional growth to develop services, collections, and programs.
The Library delivers relevant programs for children and youth by:
- Providing a variety of programs that foster literacy, stimulate the desire to learn, and promote the use of the Library’s collection for all ages
- Remaining accessible to all residents by offering programs at different rates of cost
- Ensuring that adequate funds are available to support all children’s and youth programs, which may involve offering programs on a cost recovery basis
- Liaising with schools and local organizations to provide the greatest breadth of offerings possible while supporting local partnerships
- Providing programming both in the library and at external sites
- Conducting regular evaluations of current programs
The Library partners with community groups, including schools, daycares, and other child and youth organizations to support children’s services by:
- Fostering ongoing relationships with local schools and community groups through regular visits and library event updates
- Partnering with local community groups to host and run programming related to children’s services
- Participating on local community committees that support children and youth initiatives
- Advocating for the Library at local events and within community groups
The Library promotes children’s services by using a variety of media sources and advertising at community events and organizations including schools, daycares, and community centers.
The Library maintains and develops a collection that supports children and youth in the following ways:
- Purchasing and evaluating materials that represent the goals outlined in the Collection Development Policy while considering needs unique to children and youth
- Ensuring children’s and youth collections are well organized and accessible to its patrons
The Library provides access to resources for children and youth by:
- Endorsing policy statements pertaining to patron rights in the Library
- Allowing children and youth access to all materials other than those prohibited by legislation
- Providing library service to children and youth without judgement and respecting confidentiality, as offered to all patrons
Rights & Responsibilities of Parents
The Library expects parents to comply with the following protocols:
- Accepting responsibility for materials borrowed and fines incurred on their child’s library card
- Assuming responsibility for their child’s choice of library materials and use of services, including public computers
- Abiding by the Library’s Confidentiality of Library Patron Information Policy
- Assuming responsibility for the safety of their children while on Library premises, respecting the standards for Unattended Children
- The Library is a public place and staff cannot assume any responsibility for children left unattended in the Library
- Children under 11 years must be in the company of a responsible caregiver while in the Library. According to Ontario Child and Family Services Act R.S. O. 1990 c. C.11
- Caregivers must remain in the Library during programs which their child attends
- Staff must contact York Regional Police or Children’s Aid Society when an unattended child is found in the Library and the caregiver cannot be found
The Library is committed to meeting the needs of patrons with disabilities and will provide, upon request, alternate formats and communication supports, in compliance with the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation, Ontario Regulation 191/11 and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA).