Library Program Policy
Harris County Public Library strives to give outstanding service to every child. Our pledge is to make the best possible use of our resources to enrich the experience of all children whether they are accompanied by a parent or in the care of an unrelated individual when visiting our libraries.
A variety of programs for children of all ages is provided throughout the year. All library programs are free and open to the general public. The safety of the children we serve is our first consideration. Room capacity as determined by the fire marshal as well as our desire for a high quality program experience for the children may necessitate limits on the participation of organized groups. Multiple sessions of popular programs will be scheduled whenever possible to allow for maximum attendance.
A widely diverse library system, Harris County Public Library serves communities with populations of only a few thousand up to more than 100,000 residents. Our buildings range from 2,700 to 78,000 square feet. Although some of our branch libraries are able to admit groups to advertised programs on a regular basis, in other locations group attendance is rarely feasible.
Schools and daycare or other organized groups that have not received advance authorization to attend a scheduled program will be admitted if space and materials are available at the advertised starting time with the understanding that it may not be possible to admit everyone in the group. When this situation occurs the group leader will be informed as to how many children can be accommodated. The group leader will then make the decision as to which if any members of the group attend. The group leader is expected to provide supervision for all children in their care, in or out of the program.
In those instances when groups cannot be accommodated at scheduled programs library staff will offer to provide a special program for the group at a later and mutually agreed upon date. Special group programs can be offered no more than once a month per group. While it is preferable for groups to visit their branch library in order to experience the full scope of offerings it may be possible for a library staff member to present a program at the group’s site. Several branches provide daycare storytimes that are not announced to the general public, but open only to groups by reservation.
In order to provide the highest level of service to as many of our customers as possible each branch library works to determine how best to serve the children in their community. It is always preferable for groups to contact the branch children’s librarian before arriving at the library so that library staff can determine what level of assistance may be available. Groups wishing to visit the library without the expectation of any presentation by library staff are welcome at any time.