Santa Paula Times

Private investigator offers to screen
BCL employees, volunteers

September 24, 2014
Santa Paula News

Blanchard Community Library Trustees were questioned at a recent meeting about their policy for background checks for employees and volunteers by a person who offered to donate his professional services to do same.

During a discussion of personnel policy revisions, Mike Adams of Santa Paula - a private investigator- asked whether the library requires background checks for employees or volunteers.

Interim Library Director Ned Branch said, “To the best of my knowledge” checks are not done for lower level employees or volunteers.

“They did for me,” when he was hired by the library last year, but Branch said, “It is not routine when hiring a library clerk to do background checks.” 

Branch noted “It was an interesting question” as the issue has been broached for special districts where background checks on volunteers is not routinely done.

Said Adams, “Do we have a legal obligation and moral obligation when you have members of the public,” utilizing the library that those working at the facility even as a volunteer should “at least be searched” on the state sex offender listing, which is accessible online and is free to the public.

He noted the library could also have background checking done for a minimal fee: “You are liable,” when acting on behalf of the library.

Board Chairperson Linda Spink said the library does require fingerprinting but Adams said such safeguards, “Go through one clearing house,” that at times can “miss a lot... “

He said a background check should also include reviewing registered sex offender listings as well as court records.

Adams said he would donate his services to the library; after some board discussion the matter was referred to the Personnel Committee.