Hello, I am a member of the Clearview Library Board of Trustees, BUT DO NOT SPEAK FOR THE BOARD. However, I would like to provide some context regarding the proposed Program Policy changes that are being considered.
First off, I encourage you to separate this policy from this or any particular program, and as with any policy, is a general principle that applies to ALL programs, regardless of their content or intention. Also, please keep in mind that the Library Board of Trustees does not have input into program content or subjects.
As a parent of two children under 10, we all want to keep our children safe and ensure that the Clearview Library is a safe place for them. As a parent, I do care about programming and make my personal choices on which programs they can attend. At the same time, I would be extremely concerned to know that any unattached adult could walk off the street, join a program meant for minors, photograph, and record videos of them for their purposes. For every parent with good intentions (e.g. preemptively observing a program), there are unfortunately adults in our community that have nefarious or predatory intentions. This policy change addresses that particular loophole, ensuring that contact with outside adults is limited in a program designated for minors.
Update 25 Apr 6:30pm: After conferring with community members and receiving excellent feedback, two points should be clarified:
1) The version included in the Library Board’s Packet for the April meeting, is a draft version, that has been provided to the Board for initial feedback.
2) The draft Program Policy Document could better clarify the attendance of parents in their child’s programs. I plan to suggest to the board a clarification that parents/guardians are permitted to accompany their children to any programs. However, their child must be in attendance at that event to enable parent/guardian attendance.
The Clearview Library employees undergo criminal background checks, as well as any volunteers that work with minors. When working with kids, the volunteers are supervised by the library’s excellent staff members. This mirrors similar policies found at schools. Performing such diligence against adults who drop into events is not feasible, therefore this policy change was drafted to ensure our library remains a safe place for our community’s children.
While I hope you come to Thursday’s meeting and make your voice heard, the structure of these meetings isn’t conducive to a dialog, where questions can be asked and constructive conversations can take place. As such, I would invite you to reach out to me or any other Library Trustee directly. I’m more than happy to answer questions, hear your viewpoint, and work together to improve our community. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 970.372.0738. Like you, I am a hard-working American, as well as a newly single parent, so my phone time before Thursday may be limited, but will try to return as many messages as I can. If you would like to discuss this face-to-face, contact me to make arrangements.