4.3 Unattended Child Policy

Traverse Area District Library encourages children and their families to use the Library facility together.  All children are welcome and the Library offers many programs for children with the goal of encouraging the lifelong appreciation of books and other resources. 

Caregivers (Parents, guardians or assigned caregivers at least 14 years old) are responsible for the welfare and the behavior of children using the TADL facilities.  Although staff will always respond with care and concern, the Library is not responsible for safety and comfort of unattended children.  

No child under the age of 11 shall be left unattended without supervision of a caregiver.  

  • Children under the age of 8 must be in the same room and within direct sight of their caregiver;
  • Children ages 8, 9 and 10 must have a caregiver in the library building. 

Library staff may not transport or otherwise take custody of any unattended child outside of the building.


When a child is discovered to be unattended, Library employees on duty are instructed to:

  • Attempt to contact a caregiver to retrieve the child and explain the Unattended Child Policy.
  • Call the Traverse City Police or Grand Traverse County Sherriff to take charge of the child if a caregiver cannot be located within 30 minutes.  
  • Assist any unattended child in contacting their caregivers 15 minutes before Closing time.  
  • At Closing, employees must check the grounds for unattended children.  If a child is less than 11 years old or if they are older but uncomfortable being left behind, the child is considered unattended and abandoned.
  • If a child is left unattended at Closing, TADL employees are to immediately notify Traverse City Police or Grand Traverse County Sherriff that a child has been abandoned at the library and ask authorities to come and take charge. Two Library employees must remain in attendance until the police have retrieved the child.  
  • An Incident Report is prepared by the senior employee managing the incident, documenting the date of the incident, name and age of the child, time child was discovered unattended, if and how employees attempted to reach parents, time authorities were called and when they arrived and the names of TADL employees who managed the incident.

The Library shall post this entire policy in the Woodmere library building and in each branch building.


Board Review of policy revision June 16, 2011 / Revised October 20, 2011