Saturday, February 24, 2007

More crazy legislation - library staff as sexual offender check-in officers

One of the craziest library bills of all time was reintroduced in the Florida Legislature yesterday.

S1804 GENERAL BILL by Posey
Sexual Offenders/Public Libraries; prohibits certain specified sexual offenders whose victim was under age of 18 from entering public library without immediately notifying employee of public library of sex offender's presence & intent to use resources of library; prohibits sex offender from entering library until employee acknowledges presence of offender; provides that offender who violates act commits felony of third degree; provides criminal penalties, etc. Amends 947.1405, 948.30.
EFFECTIVE DATE: 07/01/2007
02/21/07 SENATE Filed

Minow take: I worked in public libraries for ten years. We all want to protect the children, but putting library staff in this role is untenable. As I asked last year, does this mean library staff must then keep an eye on the patron? Is there funding for extra staff to do this? What kind of relationship does this really entail, and does it put the library employee at some risk? Will there be an expectation that the librarian will keep the offender away from the children... and if so, what if she fails?

Giving libraries money for security guards is a much better idea.

Senate Bill sb1804

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
    Florida Senate - 2007                                  SB 1804

By Senator Posey

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