Approved by the MSU Library Executive Team 04/01/2019


The MSU Library Mission Statement

We support and advance teaching, learning, and research for Montana State University and the people of Montana by providing access to information and knowledge.


We support our community by creating, providing, and maintaining a safe, pleasant, and welcoming environment for all patrons. The MSU Library welcomes minors in the building as long as they are accompanied by a parent or adult caregiver or chaperone and are under appropriate supervision. This policy details use of the MSU library by minors under the age of 14.


Because of safety and distraction concerns (see below) library staff cannot assume responsibility for unattended minors in the building. Minors under 14 years of age (and those requiring supervision) must be in the physical presence of a parent or adult caregiver or chaperone (a teacher, for example) who is responsible for the conduct of the minor under their supervision and must monitor their activities and behavior while they are in the building.

Responsibility of Library Staff

We support our community by creating, providing, and maintaining a safe, pleasant, and welcoming environment for all patrons. However, library staff cannot oversee unescorted or unsupervised minors, nor be responsible for their safety.

If a minor is with a parent or adult caregiver but is not being actively supervised by the adult and is acting inappropriately (i.e. distracting other users, making noise, playing with library equipment), library staff will attempt to locate the adult and inform them that the minor must be supervised. If a responsible adult cannot be located, Library staff will contact MSU Police.

If an unaccompanied minor comes to the attention of Library personnel, a staff member will contact MSU Police to report the situation and seek assistance.

Safety Concerns

Because we are a land-grant institution, the MSU Library facility is open to the public, a situation which can present risks to minors. The safety and security of minors is the responsibility of the parent or adult caregiver. The Library cannot assume responsibility for the safety of minors left unattended.

Since the MSU Library is an academic research Library, Internet access is unfiltered. This unedited access to the Internet may not be in a minor’s best interest.

Library staff cannot be responsible for minor’s safety and comfort, especially in an emergency situation.

If an unattended minor is injured or becomes ill while in the library, library staff does not know the parent/caregiver to contact in an emergency and cannot authorize medical care for the child.

If a minor wishes to leave the library, or leaves with a stranger, the library staff cannot legally detain the minor, even if the parent has told the minor to remain within the library in the parent’s absence.

Distraction Concerns

In support of our teaching, learning, and research mission, the MSU Library selects library resources for the adult researcher and advanced student. The library maintains an environment conducive to study and research. Minors can become bored or restless, and may either injure themselves, harm expensive library equipment, or distract library users and staff.