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An Important Message to Parents

The Staff and Board of Trustees of the Stowe Free Library encourage the use of the library by children who come to study, read, do homework and attend programs. Due to the increase in the number of children who are using the library without accompanying adults, we would like to communicate our concerns. We urge that parents review these materials and discuss them with their children.

  • The library does not provide day care services. Some children are coming to the library after school for up to 2 hours a day, several days a week. Some children are sent to the library every day after school.
  • Some children come to the library directly after school to wait for specific extra-curricular classes or athletic practices. The waiting period may be up to 1 1/2 hours.
  • Children need some kind of physical or social outlet after a long day at school. They may also be hungry and thirsty. The library does not provide or allow food or drink inside the building.
  • Some children whose needs are not met after school and do not have library-related work to do may become disruptive and display inappropriate behavior in the library setting. Verbal warnings sometimes go unheeded.
  • Sometimes, children have not been picked up before the library closes for the day and the building is locked.
  • Library space is limited and shared freely with people of different ages and library needs.
  • The library is located in a Town building that is shared by the Helen Day Art Center with common front and rear entrances. Lobbies obstructed by children and their belongings may hinder access to the library and the art center.
  • The property surrounding the Helen Day Memorial Building is owned and maintained by the Town and is located near busy intersections. Unsupervised children playing outside may cause damage to the building, the landscaping, or themselves.
  • It is important to remember that while Stowe is a small town with a strong community ethic, it is also a busy tourist destination with an international array of visitors and workers who are strangers to the community.

Our new library policy regarding the use of the library by unattended children reflects our concern for the welfare of all children (please see our Child Safety Policy).


Stowe Free Library

Rules of Conduct

The Stowe Free Library embraces its role as an inclusive, welcoming facility, which respects all of its patrons and visitors equally, regardless of age. Because the Library is a shared space, all users are expected to observe the same standard of behavior. The role of the Rules of Conduct is to maintain a safe and comfortable environment free of disruption or disrespectful conduct inappropriate to a library.


Specifically not permitted on the Library premise:


  • Loud, boisterous behavior or language that is profane.
  • Threatening gestures or unwanted physical contact to persons or staff.
  • Eating, smoking, and the use of illegal drugs. Patrons impaired by alcohol or drugs are not permitted in the Library.
  • Animals not employed as service animals.
  • Solicitation or distribution of leaflets.
  • Sports equipment, including snowboards, skis, and ski boots.
  • Weapons of any kind.
  • Improper acts that are subject to prosecution under criminal or civil codes of law.
  • Purposeful damage to Town or Library property.
  • Loitering in lobbies and restrooms, as well as inappropriate use of the elevator.
  • Inappropriate attire or undress, especially the lack of shirt and/or shoes.
  • Uncovered beverages or any beverage in the vicinity of the library collection or computers.
  • Cell phone conversations within the library proper. Conversations should occur in the lobbies or outside, and cell phones should be muted.


Any violation of this policy may result in a corresponding action appropriate to the severity of the infraction as decided by the Library Director, and may include a request to leave the premises, the involvement of the police, and/or the issuance of a No Trespassing Notice.


Written and approved by the Stowe Free Library Board of Trustees June 2010; revised and approved September 2011; revised and approved Feb. 2013. Revised and approved December 2015.



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Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.Joseph Addison