Children in the Library Policy


The Oshawa Public Libraries (the “Library”) welcomes and encourages children of all ages to enjoy the Library’s programs, collections, spaces and services.  It is the responsibility of the parent or caregiver to monitor the whereabouts and behaviour of their children when using the Library.  This policy extends to all Library programs and services that are held outside of Library buildings.


Caregiver means parents, guardians, caregivers, baby-sitters, older siblings, or relatives who are directly responsible for the care and well-being of the child while at the Library.

Child means a person under the age of 10.


Responsibility for the welfare and the behaviour of children using the Library ultimately rests with the parent or caregiver.  In accordance with the Ontario Library Association’s position on Children’s Rights in the Public Library, Library staff are trained to assist children in using the Library, but are not responsible for the safety and well-being of children left unattended in the building, or at a Library program held outside of the building.

Children under the age of 10 who require supervision should be accompanied by a caregiver while in the Library.

Children ages 10 and over are welcome to use the Library independently provided they exhibit competency and follow the Library Use Guidelines.  Parents are still responsible for the behaviour of any children while using the Library.

The Library expects caregivers to:

  • supervise their child’s use of Library services and resources including use of the internet and MakerSpace Technologies
  • remain in the immediate vicinity of their child while visiting the Library unless the child is participating in a Library program, and if so, we ask that caregivers of children under 10 years of age remain in the Library branch
  • ensure their child behaves appropriately in accordance with the Library Use Guidelines.


Library staff may intervene when they become aware that a child in the Library is in these, or similar situations:

  • a child is alone and visibly upset or ill
  • a child is alone with younger siblings
  • a child is alone and doing something dangerous or another person in the Library seems to be a danger to the child
  • a child is alone and is not adhering to the Library Use Guidelines
  • a child is left alone at the Library at closing time.


Library staff are obligated by the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017, S.O. 2017, c. 14, Sched. 1 to call the Police or the Durham Children’s Aid Society if they have any concerns about the safety and well-being of a child.

Revised: November 2022

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