Week 12 |Issues based reflection | Children & teens

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    • #2544
      Peldon P

      Issues based reflection – Unattended children in the library

      Most of the Twitter champions from the last class felt that children should not be left unattended at the library for their own safety and for the benefits of others in the library. These children who use the library to wait for their parents/carer are termed as “Latchkey children” by Penny Peck. Latchkey children have been a major concern for the libraries everywhere. Libraries do not mind these children using the library after school as long as they behave and do not disrupt others at the library. However, when they are made to wait long hours for their parents/carers to pick them up, they get bored get in other’s way or unnecessarily occupy space and materials they could have been otherwise used by the patrons in need of these things. There are also safety issues to be considered; while library staff are busy at work these children could get injured by climbing the book shelves, getting hit by heavy objects or get electrocuted by fiddling with the electric sockets.

      Some children are left without adult supervision at the libraries because “access to a safe place after school for children who have no caregiver at home is a challenge.” Also some children are raised by single parent who cannot afford after-school childcare or both the parents are working or some parents just don’t care enough. While some parents may leave the children at the local or public library everyday some just leave them there in case of exceptional circumstances. Hopefully these children are not huge in numbers.

      Latchkey children are violating the whole purpose of the libraries, the librarians cannot be expected to supervise the kids because that is not what they do neither do they have time for it. Therefore the age factor is very important aspect of unsupervised children in the libraries. Parents should be made aware that children under certain age cannot be left unattended; this can be achieved by having in place a firm rule/policy, still if children under age are left unattended get in touch with the parents or carers. The last resort is to contact the law enforcement agencies as they can determine if the children are left for abandonment.

      Yet libraries cannot get rid of the latchkey children completely as they are governed by the teen policy which gives children the equal rights to access the materials as their adult counterparts. The best solution is to work out a middle path that works well for the children and the libraries. Our Twitter champ @Angelchick83 suggested imposing age limit on the unsupervised children may work, however in the end it all boils down to policies, rules and regulations and making the stakeholders aware of such rules about what is allowed and what is not.

      • This topic was modified 8 years, 8 months ago by Peldon P.
    • #2593
      Peldon P

      Phew! That was a busy week. My dear colleagues if you could find any materials related to this topic, please include them in the comments. I could not find enough relevant materials to support my writing. Also please be critical and comment, I need constructive criticism. Thank you 🙂

      • This reply was modified 8 years, 8 months ago by Peldon P.
    • #2713
      Saurav Khadka

      Wonderful post Peldon, latchkey children do consume library space and materials which could have been useful to others, but at the same time some children who are more interested in learning new things may also take benefit of that time to learn new things! However, I fully agree that no matter what, kids should not be left unattended in library, as librarians are not the one to look after them. And, parents/guardians should also be equally responsible and attentive towards their offspring.


    • #2801
      hanan albishri

      Great post Peldon .. I think gaining understanding for this subject is really important. I personally think that one should gain as much information and knowledge as possible on this topic.

    • #2837
      Steven Walker

      Peldon this is some of the best work in this unit I have seen to dat, you have gone into great depth and had a good analysis here.!

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