Unattended Children Policy

All children under the age of 15 must be accompanied and directly supervised by an adult while in the University of Maine at Machias Merrill Library. The limited exception is: children under the age of 15 who are currently affiliated with a UMaine Machias Program as reflected in University records. Unattended children are children under the age of 15 who are unaccompanied by a parent, guardian, and/or caregiver in the Library. All users of the facilities of the UMaine Machias campus library are subject to the provisions of the UMaine Machias Library’s Conduct Policy and the UMS Information Technology Appropriate Use of Information Resources. Access to, or use of, the Internet by minor children is solely the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian.

Safety concerns:

  • Merrill Library is open to the public.  Leaving a child unattended may put the child at serious risk from strangers.
  • Since Merrill Library is an academic library, much of the Internet access is unfiltered. This unedited access to the Internet may not be in a child’s best interest.
  • Library staff cannot be responsible for children’s safety and comfort, especially in an emergency situation.
  • If an unattended child is injured or becomes ill while in the library, library staff does not know the parent/caregiver to contact in an emergency and cannot authorize medical care for the child.
  • If a child wishes to leave the library, or leaves with a stranger, the library staff cannot legally detain the child, even if the parent has told the child to remain within the library in the parent’s absence.

Distraction Concerns:

In support of its academic research mission, Merrill Library selects library resources for the adult researcher and advanced student. The library maintains an environment conducive to study and research. Children can become bored or restless, and may either injure themselves, harm expensive library equipment, or distract library users and staff.

Responsibilities of UMaine Machias Library Staff:

  1. If a child is with an adult but is not being actively supervised by the adult and is acting inappropriately (i.e. distracting other users, making noise, playing with library equipment), library staff will attempt to locate the adult and inform him/her that the child must be supervised. The staff member will give the adult the library handout on unattended children.
  2. If the child is left in the library without any adult supervision, the staff member will notify UMaine Machias Campus Safety Office as appropriate.
  3. In the event that a child is ill or injured in the library, attempt to notify the child’s parent or caregiver if possible. In an emergency, call 911 at once.


Policy Adopted: 3/28/2017
Reviewed: 6/22/2018