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Safe Visitor Philosophy/Policy

ImaginOn staff welcomes visitors to enjoy its services. We strive to make ImaginOn a safe, welcoming, educational, fun place for people of all ages. We are primarily a facility for children and teens, and it is for the safety of each young user that we have adopted this safe visitor philosophy.

(For ease of reading, the word "child" will be used henceforth to refer to all child and teen users of ImaginOn; the word "caregiver" will be used to refer to the parent, guardian, teacher or other individual responsible for a child or teen.)

Responsibilities of ImaginOn Staff

  • "ImaginOn Staff" refers to anyone who works in the building, including Public Library and Children's Theatre staff as well as contracted employees.
  • ImaginOn Staff are responsible for knowing all safety and security policies and procedures listed in the official "Safety and Security" manual, and in specific, those regarding "lost child" procedures.
  • Because ImaginOn is a facility primarily for children, staff will approach adults who appear to be unaccompanied by children to inquire about the purpose of their visit to ImaginOn. Such inquiries are not meant to make adults feel unwelcome or scrutinized, but to insure that all visitors are safe.
  • The staff is here to serve the public, and cannot monitor the location, safety, or behavior of each child.
  • When a child is behaving in a disruptive manner, a staff member will advise the child to stop the disruption and explain the behavior expected of him or her.
  • If disruptive behavior continues, a staff member will locate the child's caregiver and explain that the caregiver is responsible for the child's behavior.
  • If the caregiver is not in the building, staff will attempt to reach the caregiver by phone. In extreme cases, if the caregiver cannot be reached, the police will be called.
  • If the caregiver cannot or will not control the child, they will be asked to leave until the child's behavior improves.
  • Unless a child is in danger of hurting him/herself or others, staff members will not touch or pick up the child.
  • If a child is lost, scared, or injured, staff members may touch the child in order to comfort him or her or to secure his or her safety.
  • Individual ImaginOn staff will not be alone with an individual child in any part of the facility, including waiting with children after hours.
  • ImaginOn staff will never transport children in their own cars, including picking children up or taking them home.
  • Responsibilities of Parents or Caregivers

  • Parents and caregivers are responsible for the safety, behavior and supervision of their children at all times. Parents and caregivers are responsible for their children even if they are not present in the building.
  • No child under the age of eight should be left unattended by a caregiver in ImaginOn.
  • We expect children left unattended at ImaginOn to be mature enough to follow the rules of both the Library and the Children's Theatre on their own, to take responsibility for their own safety, and to be able to leave the building without an adult.
  • ImaginOn is a public building, and is not an alternative to long or short term child care. Staff cannot monitor everyone who enters, and all citizens are free to use any public area within ImaginOn.
  • Because ImaginOn is a facility primarily for youth, computer usage is reserved for children or children working with adults only. Adults who have computer and technology needs are encouraged to visit the Main Library, located one block up the street from ImaginOn where many computers are available for adult use.
  • Children who are 8 years of age or older may visit ImaginOn by themselves and attend classes, programs and theatre productions without a caregiver, unless otherwise indicated in the program description.
  • Caregivers should promptly pick up children upon conclusion of a program, class or theatre production.
  • We expect caregivers to help children arrive on time for programs, classes, and theatre productions.
  • If children are dropped off early for a program, class, or theatre production, staff cannot be responsible for reminding and/or finding children in the building at the scheduled start time.
  • Caregivers are responsible for being aware of instructions for dropping off and picking up children in regards to specific programs or classes.
  • Responsibilities of Children

  • The staff is here to help you. Please ask us for help!
  • Many people who come to ImaginOn want to read, use the computers or study. Please:
  • Speak in moderate tones
  • Walk, don't run (even down the ramp-as tempting as it may be)
  • Be patient and take turns
  • Place books or other items on a book cart when you are finished with them
  • Stay near the person who brought you.
  • Unaccompanied Children

  • We expect caregivers to keep children under the age of 8 within their sight and supervision at all times, unless the child is attending a program or class.
  • Caretakers should be at least 12 years old and mature enough to follow ImaginOn rules and guidelines. We suggest that young caregivers carry emergency contact information with them.
  • Children 8 years of age or older are allowed at ImaginOn unattended-at the discretion of a parent or guardian-provided that the child has the maturity to be left unattended. We strongly advise that these children carry contact information with them in case of an emergency. Both child and caregiver should be aware of ImaginOn's hours of operation.
  • Child Care Centers

  • Child CareCenter staff should give the name and phone number of their center to ImaginOn Information Desk staff when the group arrives. If a child is separated from the group or accidentally left at ImaginOn, the ChildCareCenter will be called immediately.
  • Disabled Visitors

  • As a youth-serving facility, the resources and services at ImaginOn are intended for children and teens from birth through age 18, including young people in that age range with developmental disabilities or other special needs. As such, ImaginOn is a fully ADA accessible facility. Any young person between the ages of birth and 18 and/or their caregivers with mental, physical or emotional disabilities which might preclude their use and enjoyment of the building should contact staff. We will make every effort to make your visit safe and enjoyable.
  • ImaginOn's scope of service is defined by chronological age, not ability. Offering computer use or participation in programs to those who are 19 and older, even when it is developmentally appropriate, is outside of that scope. Adult patrons are invited to use the full range of services available at Main Library, located a block away from ImaginOn, or any of the Public Library's nineteen additional locations.
  • Group visits to ImaginOn from agencies that provide services to individuals with special needs, such as MetroSchool, may include students who are older than 18 if that agency's policies consider them to be high school students. Any patrons, regardless of age, are welcome to select and borrow library materials from ImaginOn.
  • The Loft - A Space Just for Teens

  • The Loft, located on the 2nd floor of ImaginOn, is a library space specially designed for young people between the ages of 12 and 18.
  • The Loft was created as a space that welcomes and celebrates teens. We want it to be a place that allows teens to be expressive and comfortable.
  • The Loft is not anti-adult, but it is pro-teen. We want teens to feel comfortable in this space. We want parents, guardians, and caregivers to know that teens are safe in this space. This is why we ask that visitors to The Loft who are under the age of 12 or over the age of 18 limit their visits to this "teen only" space to browse the collection, to drop off or pick up a teen, or to take a first time tour through the space. This allows us to keep an eye on all visitors so we can be sure The Loft remains a teen-friendly space that is not only developmentally appropriate, but secure.
  • Many teens often babysit or are asked to watch younger siblings. We ask teens who are with younger children to stay in the areas of ImaginOn that are appropriate for the age of the children they are babysitting. Teens who are using the Loft with their own children may stay in the teen space.
  • The only exception to the 12-18 only policy above is for teachers/counselors escorting large groups of teens on field trips and case workers required by law to stay with a certain distance of his or her teen charge.
  • ImaginOn Truancy Policy

    According to North CarolinaState law, students 15 years or age or younger should be in school during regularly scheduled school hours (7am-2pm). Therefore, students 15 and under may not be in ImaginOn during these hours without appropriate documentation. Please be aware that student visitors may be asked for proof of age and documentation of legitimate school absence during these hours.

    CM Library Policies
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©2014 Charlotte Mecklenburg Library
ImaginOn 300 East Seventh St., Charlotte, NC 28202, (704) 416-4600
A collaborative venture of The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library & Children's Theatre of Charlotte
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