For Parents & Teachers

Two young girls accompanied by their mother

Code of Conduct

Parents and/or caregivers are responsible for their children while in the library.  Children and adults are expected to follow the Guidelines for Library Use.  Library staff appreciate parent and caregiver assistance in helping children learn behavior that is appropriate to a public library setting:

  • Use inside voices
  • Use walking feet
  • Be respectful in the use of materials, furnishings, and equipment.

Our goal is to help everyone have a safe, enjoyable, successful library experience.  Library staff members will offer a reminder of these guidelines when necessary.

The Youth Services spaces are designed for use by children and teens.  For the safety and comfort of our young people, only adults accompanied by children or teens should read or lounge in the Youth Services Department.  Study rooms in the Youth Services Department are designated for use by children and teens.  For more information, see the Guidelines for Library Use.

Children In The Library

The library encourages children to visit the library and welcomes them to use library resources and services and attend library programs.  It is important to note that the library is a public facility.  Parents, guardians, or designated caregivers are solely responsible for their child’s safety, well-being, behavior, and their use of the library and its resources.  The library is not equipped, nor is it its role, to provide long- or short-term childcare.

Children under the age of 11, or children of any age who are unable to unwilling to care for themselves, may not be left unsupervised in any area of the library.  Caregivers accompanying children under 11 must be at least 16 years of age and able to monitor the behavior of the child and be responsible for and responsive to their needs.  Unattended children must have the knowledge and ability to contact a parent of guardian at all times.  

Children who, in the judgment and sole discretion of the library staff, behave in a disruptive manner may be asked to leave the library.

Children who have not been picked up at closing time will be given the opportunity to call a parent or guardian.  Children under 16 who have not been picked up within 30 minutes after closing will be left in the care of the Fort Smith Police Department.

In accordance with A.C.A. § 12-18-402, library staff are mandated to report suspected child maltreatment to the Arkansas Child Abuse Hotline.

Daycare and School Visits

The Fort Smith Public Library has four locations that are available for school visits and field trips.  To request a visit, please complete the request form. Visits are dependent on staff availability and should be scheduled at least 3 weeks in advance.

Teacher Cards

Library cards for teachers are available at no charge to teachers at any public or private daycare, preschool, elementary, or secondary school located within the city limits of Fort Smith.  Educators are not required to live in Fort Smith.  Teacher cards are to be used exclusively for materials for classroom and curriculum use.

Applications for teacher cards are accepted only at the Main Library.  In addition to filling out the standard library card application, applicants for teacher cards must provide printed proof of their current home address and proof of employment at a Fort Smith school.  Once issued, teacher cards are kept onsite at the Main Library.  Teachers may note their library card number in order to access their online account and access digital resources for classroom use.

Items check out for four weeks with no renewals.  Teacher cards expire annually on June 1 and may be renewed by providing proof of address and employment.