Parents Using Libraries As Day Care

By: Tony Tagliavia
By: Tony Tagliavia

Mixed in with the kids here for programs, and the kids with their parents, there are kids at the East Lansing library with no supervision whatsoever.

"Children are being dropped off for a whole day which tends to be a bit much at any age," Syvia Marabate, East Lansing's library director said.

Marabate says during the school year, high schoolers and middle schoolers are coming after school hours. Some younger kids are doing the same.

"Perhaps a parent's child care has fallen through they've instructed the child to come to the library. Not understanding our staff is really not here to supervise the children," she said.

It's a problem for Capital Area District libraries as well. But librarians say there is a policy to try and stop it.

"The library cannot be responsible for monitoring children. There are too many people who come and go," CADL Assistant Director Nancy Bujold said.

Despite that written policy, Bujold says it's been going on for years and she just can't understand it.

"Would a parent drop their children off at the beach? At Meijer's? At the park? At the swimming pool with no adult supervision?" she asked.

The only way the libraries can fix the problem, directors say, is to tell parents there's no adult supervision at the library either.

"The solution is for parents to attend the library with their children, to know where they are, to keep track of them and to, to parent them," Bujold said.

If parents get the message, library directors hope they'll see fewer kids entertaining themselves, and more with their families.


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