Guidelines for children visiting the Ruidoso Public Library

Children are welcome and encouraged to visit the Ruidoso Public Library.  Library employees are concerned with the safety and welfare of children, but cannot assume the role of parent or caregiver.  For these reasons the following guidelines have been developed to help children and parents who use the library.

All Children

During Library Hours

Children from the age of eight and up may use the library on their own; however, library facilities are not licensed or staffed to provide childcare.

If a child wishes to leave the library, the library staff cannot legally detain him or her.

Children are subject to the same rules of conduct as other library users. An unattended child who violates the rules will be asked to leave the premises.  The child will be given the opportunity call a parent or guardian.

All Children

After Library Hours

It is assumed that children will not be left at the library after hours.  However, it is sometimes unavoidable that:

  • libraries must close due to unusual weather or emergency situations

  • parents/caregivers cannot be on time to collect a child.

Library staff cannot assume responsibility for children left at the library.  In such circumstances, children left at the Library will be given the opportunity to contact the parents/caregivers.  If the parent/caregiver cannot be found, the police will be notified so the children can remain in the lobby of the Ruidoso Police Department, while waiting for their parent’s arrival.


Under Age Eight

A child under the age of eight must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver AND the parent/caregiver must remain in the same area of the library as the child at all times.

NOTE: An exception is made for children attending organized library programs.  These children may be in the program area without parents or caregivers; however, parents or caregivers must remain in the library facility.

If taking the place of a parent, a caregiver must be at least twelve years old and must have with them emergency contact information for the child they are attending.  They are encouraged to have similar information for themselves.

If a child under the age of eight is found unattended, or violates the Code of Conduct, the parent/caregiver will be informed and asked to take responsibility for the child and his or her actions. 

All Children

Special Conditions

It may be necessary to notify appropriate law enforcement or child care protective authorities if:

  • an unattended child is being disruptive

  • a child is deemed to be at risk of coming to harm