Botetourt County Library Board of Trustees upholds parental rights decision

Published: Aug. 18, 2023 at 7:01 PM EDT
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BOTETOURT, Va. (WDBJ) - The Botetourt Library Board of Trustees unanimously decided August 16 to maintain the library’s current policy requiring children under the age of 13 to be supervised by an adult.

Trustees noted they had received feedback from residents to keep the library’s current Unattended Minor Policy and allow parents full access and control of minors’ library accounts until they turn 18.

According to the County, the library’s policy is one of the most conservative in the Commonwealth, with other public libraries in Virginia allowing unaccompanied children as young as 8 or 10 years old.

Library Board of Trustees Chair Dr. Marlene Preston said, “We appreciate community input about teen use of the library. Our libraries always welcome teens! Current policies already reflect the rights and responsibilities of parents, and the policies allow teens to access library materials while they are still using a card controlled by their parents. Botetourt teens are learning to make good choices as they use the library for information and entertainment. They manage their homework, receive tutoring services, select books for leisure reading, and chat with friends while they enjoy the resources and comfort of the library environment. Overall, we protect the rights of parents and minors--all patrons--to access the professionally chosen materials in the library as they choose.”