The library is a public space, like the mall or the train station.
Leaving a youth, age 11 or younger, unattended inside or outside of the library at any time is not in keeping with the reasonable use of the library as it is intended. Responsibility for a youth using the library rests with the guardian, not with Library personnel. The staff cannot know if a youth is with a guardian, friends, or strangers.
Any youth who is unable to care for himself or herself, and who is left in the library without a guardian for any period of time and/or who is not picked up at closing time is considered abandoned by the Library as set forth in New Jersey Statutes Annotated 9:6-1:
Abandonment of a child shall consist in any of the following acts by anyone having the custody or control of the child: (a) willfully forsaking a child; (b) failing to care for and keep the control and custody of a child so that the child shall be exposed to physical or moral risk without proper and sufficient protection …
The library reserves the right to contact the appropriate authorities to take custody of any youth that library staff members, in their sole discretion, feel is abandoned under the definition set forth by the statute.
“The staff cannot know if a youth is with a guardian, friends, or strangers.”