Vulnerable Adult Policy

The Hartland Public Library strives to provide a warm, welcoming, and safe environment for all community members. Accordingly, the library is concerned for the safety of vulnerable adults in and around the library building. A parent, legal guardian, or caregiver age 18 years or older must be responsible for monitoring the activities and managing the behavior of vulnerable adults during their library visits, as library staff are not trained nor expected to provide care and supervision for community members who are considered to be vulnerable adults beyond that of any other patron.

Definition

Vulnerable Adult: An adult who is unable to reasonably care for himself/herself/theirself in an emergency situation, or independently without the attention of a parent, legal guardian, or caregiver. This includes adults who are functionally, mentally, or physically challenged and who need help beyond assistance with normal library services.

Policy Guidelines

  • Vulnerable adults who can understand and follow the library’s Code of Conduct policy and who can care for themselves are welcome to be in the library unattended. Staff will make this determination based on the vulnerable adult’s behavior and past use of the library. The vulnerable adult should have contact information for someone who can assist them in an emergency.
  • Adults 18 years of age or older who are functionally, mentally, or physically unable to reasonably care for themselves should have a parent, legal guardian, or caregiver age 18 years or older in the building for assistance if needed, including at library programs.
  • Any adult who is unable to provide for their own personal needs and/or manage their own behavior without caregiver assistance should not be left in the library without a responsible parent, legal guardian, or caregiver.
  • Any adult who needs help beyond assistance with normal library services should not be left in the library without a parent, legal guardian, or caregiver.
  • Parents, legal guardians, or caregivers should remain with the vulnerable adult and be responsible for their care inside the library and on the library’s premises at all times. This expectation is for the entire building.
  • All library patrons, including vulnerable adults, must exit the building by closing time.

Staff Guidelines

  • Library staff is not responsible for the care of vulnerable adults and do not assume responsibility from the parents, legal guardians, or caregivers for providing for the welfare of said vulnerable adults.
  • In the event that a staff member has concern for the safety of a vulnerable adult who does not appear to have a parent, legal guardian, or caretaker to assist them, has a concern for the safety, security, and wellbeing of the general public or library property because of actions by or behavior of an unattended vulnerable adult, or has witnessed a vulnerable adult unattended and displaying conduct that goes against the library’s Code of Conduct policy, the following actions will be taken:
    • Staff will attempt to locate a parent, legal guardian, or caregiver to advise them of the policy and level of supervision and support required.
    • Supervisory staff will be notified and will provide any further follow-up, such as presenting a copy of the written policy.
    • If no parent, legal guardian, or caregiver is available, or if the situation warrants immediate action, staff may contact the Hartland Police Department for assistance.
  • In the event that a vulnerable adult is left unattended at closing time, staff will initiate the following procedures:
    1. Try to ascertain if the vulnerable adult has a parent, legal guardian, or caregiver on their way or somewhere nearby.
    2. Encourage the vulnerable adult to wait in the building with staff.
    3. Staff cannot force a vulnerable adult to stay inside the building or with staff, but they will ask a vulnerable adult to wait with them until a parent, legal guardian, or caregiver can be located to pick them up.
    4. Call the Hartland Police Department’s non-emergency line for assistance.


Adopted 12/14/2023.