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.

Unattended Children

Libraries allow for discovery, growth, and learning in children.  It is important, however, to remember that the library is a public facility.  Library staff members have many responsibilities and are not able to supervise children.  Parents and/or caregivers are responsible for their children while the children are in the library, and children and adults are expected to follow the Guidelines for Library Use. Children should not be left unattended in the library or on the library grounds.  Children under 10 years of age are not permitted to ride the elevator or take the stairs without adult supervision. 

Children Left at Closing

Library hours are prominently posted, and the library building is locked promptly at closing time.  Children should be picked up before the library closes. 

The library assumes no responsibility for children left at the library at closing time.  As a courtesy, children remaining at closing time will be permitted to use the library telephone to contact a parent or guardian and two library staff members may wait up to 30 minutes for a parent to arrive to pick up the child.  If the child has not been picked up after 30 minutes, library staff will contact the Fort Smith Police Department.  Library privileges may be suspended for parents and/or children who repeatedly are not picked up by closing time.

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.