Two boys playing JengaPurpose

To provide guidance for library staff and our customers when children are unaccompanied in any library in the Hamilton City Libraries network.


In accordance with the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 children are defined as persons under the age of 14.

Unaccompanied child refers to any child whose adult caregiver is not on library premises.

Principles of Care

Children are welcomed by Hamilton City Libraries to use its collections, services and spaces in a safe and respectful manner.

Our expectation of our customers is to reasonably supervise children while in the libraries. Parents and caregivers are strongly recommended not to leave children under the age of 14 years unaccompanied in the library. The safety and wellbeing of children in the library is our guiding principle at all times. Caregivers must be 16 years or older and should be in the same part of the library at all times.

While the library recognises it may be reasonable to expect older children (more than 12 years) to sometimes visit on their own, each situation involving an unaccompanied child of any age needs to be considered on its own merits.

Parents or caregivers are responsible for the safety of their children, and under the law as per the Summary Offences Act 1981 must make reasonable provision for the care and supervision of children. All customers, including children, are expected to follow the Library Behaviour Guidelines.

Library staff will act on any reasonable concerns about the care or safety of unaccompanied children in the library but will not assume responsibility for the care of those children. The role of our staff is to deliver our services and manage the use of the libraries – we need parents/caregivers to manage the children they are accompanying.

The Police or Oranga Tamariki may be contacted if the caregiver cannot be found or contacted.

If in school uniform in the libraries during school hours, you will be asked for a pass, if no pass can be produced you will be asked to return to school.

The Libraries will comply with the Hamilton City Council Management Policy – Child Protection

The purpose of this policy is to take all practicable measures to protect young people under the age of 18 years by providing a safe environment for children attending council-owned and operated facilities. Hamilton City Council will work in partnership with government and social development agencies to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children whilst meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children’s Act (2014).