Library Policies

Sex Offender Policy

In accordance with its by-laws, the Library Governing Board of New Orleans Public Library has adopted on this 1st day of November, 2012 the following policy for the purpose of:
1. Compliance with the statutory mandates set forth in La. R.S. 14:91.2.
2. Protecting children from contact with persons who have been convicted of sex offenses where the victim was under 13 years of age.

Regulation:
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 in their access to public library property, as follows:
a. Children’s and Teen’s Areas- No sex offender shall be physically present in any area of the library designated as a “children’s area’ or young adults’ area”.
b. 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 2 pm to 6 pm.
ii. During the summer, peak hours are defined as 11 am to 4 pm.
iii. On Saturdays, peak hours are defined as 10 am to 2 pm.
iv. On Sundays, peak hours are defined as 2 pm to 5 pm.
v. 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 location.

c. Loitering within 1,000 feet- No sex offender shall loiter within 1,000 feet of public library property.
d. 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 permission of school authorities. The following libraries are on within 1,000 feet of school property:

  1. Alvar Library
    913 Alvar Street
    New Orleans, LA 70117
  2. Central City Library
    Mahalia Jackson Center
    2405 Jackson Avenue
    Building C, Room 235
    New Orleans, LA 70113
  3. Children’s Resource Center
    913 Napoleon Avenue
    New Orleans, LA 70115
  4. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
    1611 Caffin Avenue
    New Orleans, LA 70117
  5. Nora Navra Library
    1902 St. Bernard Avenue
    New Orleans, LA 70119
  6. Robert E. Smith Library
    6301 Canal Blvd.
    New Orleans, LA 70124

e. Employment- No sex offender shall apply for, work for, or otherwise provide services to a library location as an employee, contractor, sub-contractor, volunteer or are partners that have office space or work space within library facilities.

II. Exceptions to these restrictions are:
a. 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.
b. 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/her designee, and the sex offender complies with any special restrictions contained within the permission.

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:
a. Background checks- implement procedures to provide that library employees, contractors, sub-contractors, volunteers or partners with office or work space within library facilities who will interact with children or will be required to work in the restricted areas may be subject to criminal background checks.
b. Notice- implement procedures to ensure adequate public notice of each library location’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.
c. Surrogate- Implement procedures to allow sex offenders to authorize a surrogate to check out library materials using the sex offender’s library card.
d. 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 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 August 1st, Attention: Library Board Chair.

Authority Note
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.

Created: 10/01/12
Board Approved: 10/16/12
Library Locations Revised: 04/02/19