Dial Dalfred: Parent speaks out on lack of background checks for library volunteer workers

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The Lafayette Public Library offers a number of free activities for children.

Engineers guide kids in making bridge models, magicians perform magic shows, and of course, adults read to them during story time.

But according to one mother, these presenters don’t go through a screening process before interacting with the kids.

One Lafayette mom only wants to be identified as “Anne”, to avoid backlash for speaking up.

After last week’s controversial coverage of drag queen story time at the Lafayette Public Library, she had questions about other readers and presenters who come into contact with children at the library.

“What is the screening process, that was my question. I was told none, that was the answer. So, I was just a little shocked by that.” Anne says.

She says she normally sits-in on the presentations, but what if she has to take a phone call, or take another child to the restroom?

“These are strangers to me. but yeah, by the library bring them in in some capacity they are vouching for these people. So, I just wondered what is the process for them vouching for them,” she explains.

Which a background check would work.

We made several calls to the library director, but have not had our calls returned.

However multiple sources close to the library say there are no background checks or screening in place for presenters.

“I think it would be very wise if a basic background check, you can get them online forward $15-$20. You just put in the person’s name, Social Security number and then any arrest, convictions, problems with law-enforcement will come up and I think for $15-$20 that would be a very good investment,” Anne says.

The library does have policies in place for computer use, patron behavior, and sex offender restrictions.

Nowhere in those policies are background checks mentioned.

You can see a list of the library’s policies here.

If you have a problem or issue you would like me to investigate, send me an email at dialdalfred@klfy.com.
 

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