Library is NOT day care

An article by JS online reminds all parents that the library is not a day care facility.\"Although delighted when children explore the shelves and surf the Internet on library computers, librarians locally and nationally increasingly are taking steps to make it clear that parents - not staff - are responsible for monitoring what youngsters read and view.\"

\"Librarians take particular offense when parents drop off their children, some of whom are preschool age, and leave them for hours unattended.\"

\"A lot of people feel the library is like a school and that they are going to take care of the kids, but that\'s not what it\'s there for,\" said Steven Ehlers, Cedarburg Library Board president. \"The rights and responsibilities of the library staff is not the same as teachers, and that\'s where the education of parents has to take place.\"

\"Libraries are not meant to be simple day care centers.\"

\"Today, the Pauline Haass Library Board will consider stricter rules that officials say will send that message, loud and clear, to parents.\"

\"One of the biggest problems is parents not taking adequate responsibility,\" Botts said.\"

\"Earlier this year, the Cedarburg Public Library updated its policies to make it clear that parents or caregivers should provide supervision of children in the library, said Mary Marquardt, library director.\"

\"In addition to the angry father and his missing daughter, Sussex library staff have dealt with other troubling incidents of young children being left unattended, including a case in which two kids showed up alone after school each day and were picked up hours later.\"

\"In that case, the two youngsters appeared to be about 7 and 12, and \"the younger child was bored, hungry and looking for love,\" Botts said. The child needed attention, she said.\"

\"To prevent young children from being left alone in the library, the staff wanted to revise its policy before school starts later this month, Botts said. The proposed policy states that \"any child, regardless of age, who requires continual staff intervention must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver at all times.\"

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