The Internet offers unlimited global access to information, which can provide wonderful learning opportunities for children. In addition to being a powerful resource tool, however, the internet does offer access to material (especially pictures, text, and video) that can be inappropriate for children. Also, unmonitored chat rooms and instant messaging have proven to be vehicles for predators to lure children into dangerous situations.
Because the Internet can be unsafe for children, the library requires all patrons under the age of 12 to have written parental consent to use a computer. Children under the age of 12 are the only patrons allowed to use the computers in the Children's Room. Furthermore, all children under the age of 7 must have their parent/caregiver sitting next to them for the duration of their computer use.
The library strictly forbids the use of chat rooms and instant messaging on the internet, as they do not fall under the library's mission statement. Beyond that, the Children's Room cannot control access to material, nor protect users from offensive information. Parents or guardians of children are responsible for their children's computer and/or internet use in the library.; We require a signed permission slip from a parent or guardian for all children under the age of 12 who wish to use the computers.
Additional rules regarding the use of the computers in the Children's Room are as follows:
- Anyone wishing to use a computer must sign up with the librarian at the circulation desk.
- Homework takes precedence over game playing at all times on the Children's Room computers.
- When patrons are waiting to use a computer, a 30-minute time limit for usage will be imposed, unless the patron using the computer is doing homework.
- There is a 2 hour limit on computer usage per patron, per day.
- The use of chat rooms and instant messaging on the library's computers will not be tolerated. If children are found to be using chat rooms or instant messaging, they will be required to immediately discontinue use of the computer.
- No food or beverages are to brought into the Children's Room.
- The computers are not toys. Children must have a basic understanding of them before using computers independently in the library. The librarians are happy to assist patrons when necessary; however, they are not able to sit with a child and teach him or her how to use the computer.
Child Behavior and Supervision Policy:
Parents should be aware that leaving a child under the age of 12 in a place of public accommodation may be considered a crime according to Connecticut Public Act No. 97-298
The Derby Public Library views service to children as an important part of our mission. We welcome children of all ages and conduct programs for ages birth through 11. It is our goal to provide an inviting, educational, safe and pleasant environment for our young patrons and their families. We encourage children to use the facility for reading. studying, research and attending programs. Our goal is to make the library a significant and beneficial part of their lives.
However, parents, guardians and caregivers should be mindful that the library is a public building open to all individuals, and that unattended children are vulnerable. Therefore, for the protection of all of our patrons and library property, the following constitutes the library policy concerning child behavior and supervision.
- Although a public building, it is not the library's function or purpose to be a care center for children. The library staff is not responsible for providing supervision and care of children of any age, whether in the library or on library premises. The staff does not monitor children leaving the premises, nor is it their responsibility to know if a child is leaving with a parent, guardian, relative or a stranger.
- Children under the age of 12 must have a responsible caregiver, age 18 or over, with them at all times. This includes time spent at programs, unless otherwise noted.
- Sharing a learning environment requires cooperation from all patrons, regardless of age. Children who are not using the library appropriately, who are engaged in disruptive, offensive or other inappropriate behavior, or who are disrespectful to the library, the library staff, or other patrons will be asked to leave the library . The judgment of the library staff prevails when requesting such removal.
- If children under the age of 12 are found unattended in the library, the library staff will assist them in calling their parents/caregivers to inform them of this policy so arrangements can be made for pick up. If unattended children under the age of 12 are discovered in the library at closing time, the library staff will again assist them in contacting their parents/caregivers and wait with them for 10 minutes. If the parent/caregiver has not arrived within that time period, the police will be contacted.
- No food or beverages are allowed.
- Children and parents/caregivers should also be aware of the Children's Room Computer Usage Policy. Copies are available at the children's circulation desk.
- The library is not responsible for children who remain on library property after closing.
For a full listing of the Derby Public Library policies, please visit Library Policies page.