The Monterey Public Library has a variety of programs for a variety of ages at a variety of times. Currently there are twice monthly programs for babies with a break in the summer. Toddler and preschooler programs happen weekly. Elementary school age programs are held monthly during the school year and weekly during the summer. At least once a month there is a program for families who are not available during the daytime hours. As a result of budget cuts, there are three months of no youth programming - May, August, and December.
While some programs are open to all ages, usually there are age guidelines (i.e. "suggested for --" or "Especially for --" ) and sometimes age limits (i.e. Ages 7-12). Age limits are set for a number of reasons, including maturity of content or presentation mode, performer stipulation, room capacity as set by fire code, and setting an environment appropriate for older children. Staff carefully weigh these factors along with the objective of having as many children as possible able to enjoy the events. Without age limits, many types of programs would not be able to be offered at all.
Staff will communicate the age limits in the Library, at the door, in press releases, in Library publications and on the Library web site.
For preschool and younger programs or programs for all ages, parent participation is expected and younger siblings are allowed. Occasionally, at an all ages program, when the room is full, staff may ask if some parents might give up a seat for children who would be otherwise turned away. For school-aged programs, younger siblings are not allowed, and parents are sometimes asked to remain outside the community room.
We recognize that there may be extenuating circumstances. However, as noted above, there are a variety of reasons for the age limits, so making a different decision about age limits can be a complicated and often last minute decision. Parents are discouraged from expecting an exception and should understand that exceptional maturity of an individual child is not a reason for an exception. Questions can be referred to the Youth Services Manager.
In the interest of fairness to all, age limits are enforced. Thank you for your cooperation.