Indiana Senate advances public library background check bill

Local News

(Indiana Statehouse Newsroom) – Indiana state senators have passed a bill dealing with how public libraries handle criminal background checks.

Senate Bill 64, co-authored by State Senator Jim Tomes of Wadesville, would require public libraries to request criminal background checks on employees and volunteers who conduct a performance, presentation, or workshop for children less than 14 years of age.

The bill specifies that a public library doesn’t need to do a background check on a person if the library, or another library, has already conducted a background check within the previous calender year.

Library volunteers not working with children under 14 would not require a background check.

The republican dominated senate passed the bill 38-11 Tuesday. It now moves to the house for consideration.

Background checks at public libraries were a topic of discussion during the lead up to the Evanvsille Vanderburgh Public Library’s Drag Queen Story Hour.

Some opponents of the event raised concerns that the EVPL didn’t background check its chosen performer. In a previous story Eyewitness News did the night before the event — the library confirmed that; citing the library’s policy to background check employees but not volunteers.

The EVPL said volunteers are directly supervised by background-checked employees.

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(This story was originally published on February 26, 2019)

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