Per Senate Enrolled Act 410, Indiana public libraries are required to have a policy regarding its practice in performing criminal history checks for staff and volunteers. The Pendleton Community Public Library takes all measures to ensure the integrity of its assets and reputation, and this policy outlines those measures in regards to criminal history checks. This policy is also retained as part of the library’s Internal Controls Standards.

Vendor Responsibilities
The vendor selected by the Pendleton Community Public Library will perform criminal history checks on staff members aged 18 and over. The vendor is required to abide by all State and Federal law in its practices for obtaining criminal history checks.

New Staff
Library staff members who are hired as minors will be subject to criminal history checks when they reach the age of 18. Prospective staff members provide their verbal consent for this check as part of the interviewing process. A satisfactory criminal history check is part of each staff member’s job description, and the job description is included in all job advertisements. The criminal history check is not performed until an offer of employment is accepted. At that time, a signature is obtained granting permission to the library for performing a criminal history check. All associated fees are paid by the library. The new hire does not begin working until a satisfactory check is returned.

Evaluation of Results
In order for a criminal history check to be considered satisfactory, it may require evaluation by the Personnel Committee of the Library Board. Checks that retrieve some level of criminal activity do not necessarily disqualify an individual from being hired. Felonies and misdemeanors will be handled on a case-by-case basis, with input from the Personnel Committee and the Library’s Attorney. When evaluating each case, considerations include the severity of the crime, the date of occurrence, and job responsibilities, should they be hired.

Records Retention
Results of criminal history checks will be retained as part of each employee’s personnel record. This record is held in a locked cabinet in the Director’s Office, and is only accessible per the existing Personnel Records policy which outlines the library’s practice in retaining and accessing personnel records. History checks obtained by the library cannot be shared with any other entity, even for a shared employee or volunteer.

Existing Staff
Staff members who commit infractions of felonies or Class A misdemeanors while employed with the library are required to report them to Library Administration, per this policy. This includes the Library Director. Such reports may adversely affect employment with the library, and all reports will be evaluated by the Personnel Committee and Library Board Attorney before any action is taken. Failure to report convicted criminal activity, while in the employ of the library, is considered ground for dismissal. Library Administration reserves the right to perform background checks on any existing employee, with documented cause, and approval by the Personnel Committee and Library Attorney.

Volunteers and Performers
The library does not utilize volunteers for handling cash assets of the library. Volunteers may assist with library programs where underage patrons may participate. No volunteer will ever have unsupervised contact with children while assigned at the library. Volunteers working with the Friends of the Library are subject to the policies of the Friends of the Library. It is acknowledged that the Friends of the Library utilize criminal history checks for volunteers participating in their Reading Friends program. Reading Friends are preferred volunteers for children’s library programs.

Program presenters and performers interacting with children are required to carry their own liability insurance. Proof of Insurance must be presented prior to the date of the program and will be retained in the Library Business office. Presenters of adult programs may be required to provide proof of insurance if the program content poses any type of risk to participants.

Paid presenters and performers, hired through a business or agent, are required to carry their own liability insurance. Proof of Insurance must be presented prior to the date of the program and will be retained in the Library Business office.

Adopted by the Pendleton Community Public Library Board of Trustees
August 9, 2023

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