FAQ – Children’s Services
- When can my child get a Fairfield Public Library Card?
- Do you have toys and games in the Children’s Room?
- What is the Little Farm?
- What Children’s Programs do you have at the Library?
- What is the difference between “drop-in” and “registration only” programs?
- How can my child use a computer in the Children’s Room?
- Oh No! My child had an accident… what do I do?
- Do you have a Study Room available in the Children’s Room?
- I’m a teacher. How can the Library help me?
- Unattended Child Policy
- Unattended Child Policy
- Other Children’s Room Rules and Policies
Your child can get a Library Card as soon as you’re ready for them to get a Library Card. Come to the Children’s Information Desk or the Circulation Desk to fill out a registration form. The parent or legal guardian needs to show proof of ID and Fairfield residency, as well as, sign the form to be the responsible party for all materials checked out on the child’s card. Please see the Library Card page for more information about obtaining a Library Card for your child or yourself.
We encourage all the children of Fairfield to get their Library card, so sign up today!
The Children’s Room has been designed to foster imaginative and creative play. With puppets, puzzles, costumes, and more, the Children’s Room is more than just books. However, we do ask that these toys and materials stay in the Children’s Room for every child to enjoy during their visit.
The Little Farm is a dedicated area within the Children’s Room at Main Library for babies and toddlers under the age of 3 years old… 0 months – 35 months. With soft mats, soft toys, and board books, this area is especially safe for our tiniest patrons. Parents and caregivers must remain in the Little Farm at all times.
The different neighborhoods are designed to be developmentally appropriate for different aged children. Children who are 3 years old and up can present a hazard to babies and toddlers who are exploring the area. Also, the mats are not made for older, heavier children who are jumping, climbing, kicking and bouncing on them.
If you have an older child/sibling, please understand our policy concerning the Little Farm. Only if the parent or caregiver can ensure that the preschool age child (3 years old and up) can sit next to the adult or play gently alongside the baby and/or toddler can we allow them in the Little Farm.
It is up to the judgment of the Children’s Services Staff to decide appropriate or inappropriate behavior in the Little Farm. It is also at the discretion of the Staff to ask parents and/or children to leave the Little Farm and continue their play in other areas of the Children’s Room if their child is not acting in a safe manner around babies and toddlers.
The Children’s Room has programs for children ages 0-12. Please see the Events Calendar for specific dates and times of upcoming programs, visit the Children’s Events page for information on weekly programs, or pick up a printed calendar for all seasonal Programs and Descriptions.
Drop-in programs do not require advance registration. However, parents or caregivers must pick up a ticket prior to the start of the program. We begin handing out tickets 30 minutes before the start of any program. Due to limited space, tickets are handed out to the first 20 children. Tickets are given out on a first-come, first-serve basis and programs can get full.
Registration only programs require advance registration online, in-person, or by telephone before the start of the program. Registration start dates for programs vary by age and program. Please call the Children’s Information Desk or visit the Events Calendar for more information.
A Children’s Library Card is needed to log on to the Game and Internet computers in the Children’s Room. If your child does not have a Library Card, please visit the Children’s Information Desk to log on with a guest pass. Children under the age of 12 have priority on all computers in the Children’s Room.
If all computers are full, please use the Reservation System to secure a computer for your child.
We understand that children are always learning new skills and sometimes, accidents happen. From learning to walk to potty training to tummy aches, we anticipate a few mishaps along the way! However, please notify a Children’s Services Staff Member as soon as the accident happens to ensure proper care is taken in cleaning the area.
The Main Library does have a Study Room. The room can be booked through the Children’s Information Desk and can only be reserved the day of the reservation. Patrons must show identification at the Children’s Information Desk. Priority for use of the study room goes to children under the age of 12. The room can be used for up to one hour.
Other Children’s Room Rules and Policies
We do allow light food and drink outside the Children’s Room on the benches in the “Gazebo”, but please be respectful of the space and eat only small snacks in designated areas.
Children under the age of 12 are not allowed in the Children’s Room without parent or caregiver supervision. Please refer to the Unattended Child Policy for more information.
Please be considerate of others and use inside voices and remember to walk in the Children’s Room.
Children’s Services Staff Members reserve the right to ask any child to correct improper behavior.
Adults who do not have a child with them are welcome to take material from the Children’s Library but are asked not to linger. Please refer to the Unattended Adult Policy.
Visit the Educators page for our Menu of Services and more information.
Library Service to children, parents, and adults working with children is an important part of the Library’s mission.
It is not the Library’s function or purpose to provide supervision or care for children while parents or other supervising adults are outside the Children’s Library and/or the Library proper. Parents should be aware that the Library is a public building open to all individuals. Parents and guardians are, at all times, responsible for the conduct and safety of their children on Library premises.
The following policy has been designed to communicate the Library’s concern for the safety and welfare of the children it serves and is in accordance with Connecticut State law pertaining to unaccompanied minors.*
Children under the age of 12:
- Children under the age of 12 may not be left in the Library unsupervised by a parent or caregiver. Exceptions may be made during specific supervised library programs for children in grades 6 and up.
- Children under the age of 12 must have a parent/caregiver in the immediate vicinity of and in visual contact with the child.
Children age 12 and older:
- Children 12 years and older may use the Library unaccompanied by an adult provided they are able to comply with the Library’s Code of Conduct and do not require excessive staff attention.
- Children who are not using the Library appropriately, or who require excessive staff attention, may be asked to leave.
- Parents and guardians should be aware of the Library’s opening and closing times, and that operating hours might change unexpectedly. The Staff cannot monitor children leaving the premises, nor is it the staff’s responsibility to know with whom a child is leaving.
- The Library is not responsible for children outside the building who await transportation or who are socializing.
Parents/caregivers are responsible for the conduct and safety of their children in the Library whether a parent/caregiver is present. Children, like all Library patrons, are required to follow the Library’s Code of Conduct. This includes respecting Library property and other patrons and acting in a manner appropriate to the use and function of the Library. Disruptive or inappropriate behavior may result in the individual(s) being asked to leave the Library and/or the Fairfield Police Department will be notified as deemed necessary by the staff.
*In accordance with Connecticut State law – Reference Connecticut General Statutes Sec. 53-21a: “Leaving a child unsupervised in a place of public accommodation or motor vehicle: Any parent, guardian or person having custody or control, or providing supervision, or any child under the age of twelve years who knowingly leaves such child unsupervised in a place of public accommodation or motor vehicle for a period of time that presents a substantial risk to the child’s health or safety, shall be guilty of a Class A Misdemeanor.”
Adopted by the Board of Trustees Fairfield Public Library April 16, 2018
Adults may visit the Children’s Department only when accompanied by children using this department or when retrieving materials for research or check out.
Unaccompanied adults who are retrieving materials for research or check out may not remain in the Children’s Department to review the materials, but instead take them to the adult section of the library to review.
The computer in the Kiwanis Parent-Teacher Room is for use by an adult who is accompanied by a child in the Children’s Department.
Unaccompanied adults may be asked by library staff to use the facilities, services, and equipment in the adult section of the library.
This policy reflects the library’s concern for the safety of children in the library.
Adopted by the Board of Trustees Fairfield Public Library – January 2020
More FAQ’s and answers concerning Fairfield Public Library policies and procedures can be found here.