Congratulations on encouraging your child’s use of the library! Children of all ages are welcome to enjoy our collections, services and events. Here is some helpful information for parents with minor children.
Children In The Library
Our two library locations offer warm, welcoming spaces for kids to enjoy, along with many educational and entertaining events. However, staff cannot provide supervision or be responsible for children in the library.
Children in Grades 5 and below must be attended and supervised by a responsible adult (parent, guardian or other caregiver, 18 years or older) at all times while in the library.
Children in Grades 6 and above may use the library on their own. Even if they are not present, parents are responsible for their children’s actions and well-being. Anyone of any age who is disruptive to patrons or staff may be asked to leave the library. If your child is not able to leave the library without an adult, they should not be in the library unsupervised.
See our Behavior Policy for more information.
Children age 5 and up may have their own library cards for checking out items or using the library’s digital collections. Here are our main options for youth cards:
Resident Youth Cards
Available for children age 5-17 of service district residents, who reside at the same address. An eligible child may apply with their parent/legal guardian present at any library location.
Non-Resident Student Cards
Available for K-12 and college students enrolled in any public or non-public school, college or university located in the library’s service district. This card offers the same benefits as resident youth cards, but does not require residency. An eligible child may apply with their parent/legal guardian present at any library location.
Student Digital Access Cards
Available for K-12 students enrolled in any public or non-public school located in the library’s service district. This card is provided through a partnership between the library and the participating school system, and provides access to the library’s digital resources only. A parent/legal guardian may sign their child up for this card through their annual school enrollment process.
See our Circulation Policy for more information.
Checking Out Library Materials
While the library includes special departments for children and teens, parents should be aware that children also have access to all materials in the library. Library staff will not monitor or censor your child’s selections. It is your responsibility as a parent to be aware of what your child is checking out. There are several ways you can do this:
- Accompany your child to the library and assist them in their selections
- Monitor your child’s checkouts by logging into their online library account
- Staff at any library service point can provide a list of materials checked out on your child’s card
Parents/legal guardians of cardholders have the right to access information about their minor child’s library account, including full disclosure of materials checked out on the card. Parents/legal guardians of cardholders ages 5-17 must agree to be responsible for materials checked out on their child’s account.
Databases & Downloadable Content
Your child’s library card also allows them to access the full range of online databases and downloadable media available at Hamilton East Public Library. Several databases, including BookFlix, PebbleGo, and TrueFlix, are designed just for kids! Visit our Kids’ Resources page to access these databases and more.
Your reader may also enjoy eBooks on platforms such as OverDrive/Libby and Hoopla. Parents should be aware that these databases include a wide range of content for all ages. Library staff may assist you in setting up features within these platforms such as “kids mode” and audience filters.
With all online library resources, parents should monitor and guide their child’s selections just as you would with materials in the library.
Through our free public computers and Wi-Fi, the library provides your child with access to the Internet, which contains a wide variety of material and information from varied points of view. Many websites contain valuable and timely information; however, other websites may contain material that is inaccurate, defamatory, illegal, or offensive to some people. In compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), the library provides only filtered access to the Internet for children under the age of 18, regardless of whether they log in to public computers with their library card, utilize a guest pass, or access the library’s public Wi-Fi.
Parents should be aware that while the library attempts through filtering software to prevent direct access to materials that generally would not be acceptable in a public library, it is technically impossible to prevent access to all objectionable resources. It is the responsibility of parents/legal guardians or other adults accompanying minor children to monitor and guide their children in the use of library computers and the Internet.
See our Internet & Computer Use Policy for more information.