DES MOINES – The West Des Moines Public Library is changing the age that kids can be left alone at the library from 8-years-old to 10-years-old. This change comes just before school gets out for the summer leaving kids across the metro with lots of free time.

The West Des Moines Public Library decided to change its unattended minor policy due to instances of children being left alone at the library leading to behavior issues.

Darryl Eschete, the Director, of the West Des Moines Public Library, said that the change isn’t intended to prevent kids from using the library, but rather to give staff another option to deal with children who are misbehaving.

“This policy is meant to be a way for us to look out for our younger patrons more,” Eschete said. “It’s not meant to be a barrier to access for any age group.”

In the past, there have been situations where children were left at the library unattended by a parent for extended periods of time which led to children becoming distressed.

“The West Des Moines Public Library staff absolutely cares about children but we’re not really equipped to be caregivers on an ongoing basis like that,” Eschete said.

The unattended child policy changes are in effect Monday, May 23rd.