ST. CHARLES, Mo. – The St. Charles City-County Libraries have approved a policy aimed at controlling the number of unattended youths inside libraries at certain times. Library officials say there have been times when more than 100 unattended kids have arrived at the Kathryn Linnemann Branch in St. Charles after a nearby school is dismissed.

The new policy gives the chief executive officer of the libraries the authority to limit the number of unattended children under the age of 16 allowed into any single branch or facility at one time.

There will also be new requirements when any public school in St. Charles County has a full or partial day of school. Prior to 5 p.m. on those days, any child under 16 must be accompanied by an adult, or the guardian of any child between 10 and 16 must fill out a form that will be available online.

Library officials cite the safety of customers and staff as a factor and believe the policy will help establish a reasonable ratio of staff to unaccompanied children. Officials also believe the new policy will also be helpful in an emergency if library staff need to contact parents.

After hearing about the policy change, some library visitors on Thursday shared mixed opinions.

“The policy is smart and I think it’s definitely going to help,” said St. Charles County resident Davis Young.

Royce Boone has a different take. The St. Charles County resident believes library access for unattended youth should not be limited.

“It kind of takes away a safe place for kids to come to,” Boone said.

The requirements will be in place during the school year and will not apply during school breaks or after 5 p.m.