Sex Offender Policy
In accordance with its Bylaws, the Ouachita Parish Public Library Board of Control has adopted the following policy for the purpose of:
- Compliance with the statutory mandates set forth in La. R.S. 14:91.2
- Protecting children from contact with persons who have been convicted of sex offenses where the victim was under 13 years of age
I. Effective January 1, 2013, persons who have been convicted of sex offenses where the victim was under the age of 13 (referred to as “sex offenders” for purposes of this policy/regulation) are restricted as follows:
- Sex Offenders are allowed to use the Main, Ouachita Valley, Anna Meyer, Cpl JR Searcy Memorial, Louise Williams, Ollie H. Burns Memorial, West Monroe and West Ouachita Branch Libraries of the Ouachita Parish Public Library. At these libraries, their access is restricted as follows:
1. Children’s Areas – No sex offender shall be physically present in any area of the library designated as a “children’s area.”
2. Peak Children’s Hours – No sex offender shall be physically present on public library property during peak hours of children’s use of the library:
i. During the school year, peak hours are defined as 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
ii. During the summer, peak hours are defined as 9:00 am to 11:00 am and 2:00 to
iii. Peak hours of children’s use also include hours during which children’s programs are scheduled. A schedule will be posted on-line and at the entrance of the library facility.
- Libraries On/Within School Property – According to R.S. 14:91.2C, sex offenders are not allowed on or within 1,000 feet of school property without the permission of school authorities. The following libraries are on or within 1,000 feet of school property:
Carver-McDonald Branch Library
2941 Renwick Street
Monroe, LA 71201
Sterlington Memorial Branch Library
305 Keystone Road
Monroe, LA 71203
Sex offenders will only be allowed access to these libraries if they first obtain permission to be on school property. If they obtain this permission, the same restrictions as in section A of the policy apply.
Alternative channels of access to public library resources include:
- Access to the other branches as outlined above, and
- Allowing a surrogate to check out library materials from these branches on the sex offender’s library card.
- Loitering within 1,000 feet – No sex offender shall loiter within 1,000 feet of public library property.
- Employment - No sex offender shall apply for, work for, or otherwise provide services to a library facility as an employee, contractor, sub-contractor, or volunteer.
II. Exceptions to these restrictions are:
- Police station/courthouse/polling station – There shall be no violation of this regulation if the sex offender is reporting to a police station, courthouse, or polling station that is within the restricted area.
- With special permission – There shall be no violation of this regulation if the sex offender has requested and has been granted written permission to be physically present on public library property from the Library Director or his designee, and the sex offender complies with any special restrictions contained within said written permission. Said written permission must be presented to library representative on duty at time of entering library building.
III. The Library Director shall be responsible for developing and implementing administrative and management procedures in furtherance of the policies stated herein. Recommended procedures include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Background checks – Implement procedures to provide that library employees, contractors, sub-contractors, and volunteers who will interact with children or will be required to work in the restricted areas may be subject to criminal background checks.
- Configuration – To the extent possible, each library branch shall be arranged in a manner to ensure that areas devoted to children and young readers may be easily supervised by library staff, and such areas are segregated from other library resources and facilities.
- Notice – Implement procedures to ensure adequate public notice of each library branch’s times and dates of peak children’s hours and children’s programming. Adequate notice may include posting such information in a prominent location near the library’s entrance and on the library’s website.
- Surrogate – Implement procedures to allow sex offenders to authorize a surrogate to check out library materials using the sex offender’s library card. Procedures to obtain a library card via a surrogate may be granted by the Library Director.
- Enforcement – Implement procedures to update policies, where necessary, and enforce policies regarding unattended children.
IV. The Library Director and members of the public are invited to make recommendations to the Library Board to improve this regulation or suggest state legislative changes that will allow public libraries to more effectively achieve the public purposes set forth herein. Those recommendations, along with any supporting documentation, should be submitted annually to the Library Board by or before October 1 of said year. Such correspondence shall be sent: Attention: Library Director
Ouachita Parish Public Library
1800 Stubbs Avenue
Monroe, LA 71201
Act 693 of the 2012 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature amended and re-enacted R.S. 14.91.2. The effective date of the Act is January 1, 2013.
Adopted by the Library Board of Control on November 8, 2012
Effective Date: January 1, 2013