Parent’s Guide: Your Child’s Use of the Library
Congratulations on encouraging your child’s use of the library! We hope this will be the beginning of lifelong learning and reading enjoyment for them. ImagineIF libraries offers children and families endless opportunities to read, grow and explore. We know that children who enjoy reading for pleasure are more likely to graduate on time and lead healthy successful lives as adults.
We have developed policies to protect the confidentiality of all patron loan records while recognizing the rights and responsibilities that parents have to monitor their child’s reading. Our library policy regarding these matters reads as follows:
“If a library cardholder is under the age of 18, the caregiver who signed for the child’s card may be given specific information regarding the child’s record under the following circumstances. If the caregiver is in possession of the child’s card, they may be given any information in the child’s record. If the child’s card is not present, information will be provided to the caregiver listed on the library account upon presentation of photo identification, and will be limited to materials that are overdue, lost or damaged, or related to fines owed.”
Your Child’s Library Use
While a large children’s section exists with materials specifically for younger patrons, parents should be aware that children also have access to all materials in the library. The library staff cannot monitor or censor your child’s selections, as their right to free speech is protected by the U.S. and Montana State Constitution. It is your responsibility as a parent to be aware of what your child is checking out.
There are a several ways you can do this:
- Accompany your child to the library and assist them in their selections.
- Log in to their account to see what is checked out.
- Present the child’s library card at a staff desk for a list of materials currently checked out.
Responsibility For Charges
Parents are responsible for fines and other charges accrued on their child’s card. This includes replacement costs and billing charges for lost materials. These are the only services which may be accessed by the parent without presentation of the child’s card.
Picking Up Holds
If you wish to pick up items being held for your child, you must be in possession of their card at the time of check out.
Other Children’s Services
Our children’s computers are available for ages 12 and under and have filters to restrict content. We also have internet stations located in general library areas. These stations are not restricted to patrons by age. However, children under the age of 9 must be accompanied by a parent while at the library. We allow email, social media and games on these machines, so if these are activities you wish to restrict, it is your responsibility to be present to monitor their use. Here is our policy statement regarding children and computer use in the library:
“Responsibility for online materials accessed by children and teenagers rests with their parent or legal guardian. Computers in the children’s area employ Internet filters and point to age-appropriate websites. Parents or guardians who believe that their children cannot responsibly use the Internet should personally supervise their use of library computers.”
Programs and Classes
Our staff conducts regularly scheduled Early Literacy Classes and craft programs for various age groups. Special programs are also conducted with outside performers. In addition, our Summer Experience Program promotes library use by offering reading challenges and science and math activities.
Library Use Guidelines
We ask that you maintain direct supervision over children you bring to the library. Please help them learn behavior that is appropriate to a public library setting. Please note that children under the age of 9 must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver.
Report lost cards immediately to prevent their use by unauthorized persons.
Full Text Policies regarding children’s use of the library can be found here: