New York State Library
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New York State Library Policy on Children

The New York State Library is a Research Library whose collections are at a research level, not at a reading level appropriate for, nor of interest to, most young children. Children under nine years old will not usually find any material they can use at the State Library so would have to bring their own material with them or sit quietly without reading material. Use of the Internet is of interest to children, but they must be at least nine years old or accompanied by an adult (at least 18 years old) to use the Internet at the State Library.

Because of safety and other issues, the following is the policy of the Library in regard to children:

  1. Children under nine
    • Must be accompanied and supervised by an adult (18 or over). If a child under 9 comes in without an adult he/she will be told he/she needs someone 18 or over with him/her.
    • May use the Internet if accompanied and supervised by an adult (18 or over).

    If a child is here with an adult but is not being supervised by an adult, and is either being disruptive or otherwise using the Library inappropriately (e.g., playing in the entranceway or near the conveyor belts), Library staff will inform the adult that he/she must supervise the child. If the problem persists after that warning, both the adult and the child will be asked to leave.

    If staff are unable to find the adult who came in with the child, staff will use the intercom to page the adult. If the adult cannot be found or if a child comes in and stays without an adult (18 or over), a staff member will attempt to reach the child's parent or guardian by telephone. If reached, the parent or guardian will be told that the child may not be in the State Library without adult supervision. If the parent or guardian cannot be reached or cannot come to get the child, the State Police will be called. The police will come over to escort the child to the State Police Station on the Concourse of the Empire State Plaza. The police will then make additional attempts to contact the parent or guardian, or turn the child over to Social Services.

  2. Children nine and older
    • May use State Library facilities without being accompanied by an adult.
    • May use the Internet. However, a child aged 9-15 must bring in a permission slip signed by his/her parent or guardian before he/she can use the Internet.

  3. Disruptive Children
    • If a child is loud or disruptive or not following Library rules, he/she will be warned to stop the inappropriate behavior.
    • If the child does not stop the inappropriate behavior after the warning, he/she will be told to leave the Library. Security will be called if necessary.

Updated: August 3, 2011

Last Updated: June 2, 2021