The Deerfield Public Library strives to provide a welcoming and safe environment for all visitors. 

While the Library is especially concerned for the safety of children and vulnerable adults on Library property, the Library does not act in loco parentis (in place of parents), and Library staff are unable to provide parental-type oversight or guidance to children or vulnerable adults. A parent, legal guardian, teacher, custodian, or caregiver is responsible for monitoring the activities and managing the behavior of children and vulnerable adults during their Library visits. 

A vulnerable adult is defined as someone who reasonably appears functionally, mentally, or physically unable to care for themselves and should not be left alone in the Library including at programs. This includes adults who need staff help beyond assistance with normal Library services. 

Staff cannot assist with tasks related to personal care.

Children 8 years of age and younger must be accompanied and directly supervised at all times by a parent or other responsible caregiver. Older children are welcome to use the Library independently, however, responsibility for minors using the Library rests with the parent/guardian. Children are subject to Library rules and policies regarding behavior.

Some Library programs require the caregiver to accompany the child during the program. For all other library programs, caregivers of children eight years of age and younger must remain in the Library and readily available.  

The Deerfield Public Library staff is committed to helping patrons with activities related to the Library. However, staff cannot, nor is it their responsibility to serve as babysitters, teachers, or disciplinarians. 

The Library is an open, public building, and the well-being and safety of young children left alone or unattended is a serious concern. During Library hours, when the safety of an unattended child or vulnerable adult is in doubt, Library staff will attempt to contact the caregiver before calling 911. In the case of an immediate safety concern, staff will contact 911 immediately, and then attempt to contact the caregiver. Staff will stay with the person until help arrives.

In the event that a child under the age of 13 or a vulnerable adult is still at the Library after the Library closes to the public, the Person In Charge and at least one other staff member will wait up to 15 minutes before contacting 911. For their protection, children under the age of 13 and vulnerable adults not picked-up 15 minutes after the Library closes, will be placed in police custody for their protection. Attempts will be made during that 15 minutes to reach a caregiver or parent, but in no instance will staff take anyone home. If at any time staff are concerned for the safety of the child or vulnerable adult, they will contact 911 immediately.


Revised: November 20, 2019