November 19, 2017

Update: LA Enacts Library Sex Offender Ban

This story has been updated to include the governor’s signature.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal signed into law a bill to limit access to that state’s public libraries by sex offenders, according to local news station WDSU.

The law applies only to those offenders whose victims were under 13 years of age. Library boards will have until January 1, 2013, six months to the day from when the legislature sent the bill to the governor, to design guidelines that offenders must comply with. Though these must be “narrowly tailored” to the goal of protecting children, choosing to place a total ban on entering a library or loitering with 1,000 feet of one is explicitly allowed.

On May 25, the Louisiana House of Representatives passed the bill by a 40 vote margin, according to local television station WWLTV. The measure, Senate Bill 753, was first introduced in the Senate in April, and in the House in early May; it cleared the House committee on May 9. Because of House amendments, it was returned to the state Senate for final approval, which it received on May 30.

In February an appeals court held a total ban in Albuquerque unconstitutional, in part because it did not did not provide any “alternative channels” for offenders to receive information at public libraries.

Meredith Schwartz About Meredith Schwartz

Meredith Schwartz (mschwartz@mediasourceinc.com) is Executive Editor of Library Journal.

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