Library Aides May Have to Pay Their Own Background Check Fees

By Michael Klazema on 1/28/2013

Grace Mellman Community Library in Temecula, California is thinking of implementing a program that would ask its volunteers to pay for their own background checks. The library is one of many that has hopped on board the background check train and is considering whether or not to conduct their own background checks on volunteers. One difference is that they will be asking the volunteers to pay for their own screening. One volunteer, Mark Justice, has been doing volunteer work for the library for four years and is very passionate about his work. However, he isn’t very excited for the new fees that he and other volunteers will be responsible for. Justice isn’t opposed to the background checks, but he is opposed to having to pay the fee on top of the free work he does weekly for the library. Each volunteer will have to pay $42 for their background check.

During a phone interview, Justice said that he wasn’t so much worried about the amount of the fee, but that it was an insult for volunteers to have to pay when the library is already making money off of their free work. The volunteers provide vital services to the library free of charge, and many will struggle to pay the background check fee. Justice also says that the new policy will turn away some volunteers who cannot afford to pay for their own background check. In light of the opposition, the library has decided to suspend the program for now, though it is still under review.

The county library system doesn’t want to drive away volunteers, but would like to implement a background check program sometime in the future. The board of supervisors for the county library system said that they didn’t originally want to charge the volunteers, but the fee would generate over thirty thousand dollars since the system has over 700 volunteer workers.

The firm that runs the libraries, Library Systems and Service, is the one who first proposed that volunteers pay for their own background checks. The county libraries recently signed a new contract with LSSI, and one part of the contract formed new policies that included background checks. The libraries and the volunteers are in favor of background checks, but not at the cost of driving away necessary volunteers. Other various types of volunteers in the county often have their background check fees paid by the facility they work for.

The county had a total of 1,511 volunteers registered with the department of human resources during the 2011-2012 fiscal year, and about 1,200 had their background check fees paid by the facilities they worked for. A county spokesman, Ray Smith, says that the county officials are working to make background check policies as uniform as possible in the county. Background check companies, like, can provide reliable and comprehensive services for any business or facility that needs to conduct background checks on employees and volunteers.

They have services such as US OneSearch that use a comprehensive nationwide criminal database. The database includes information from 49 states as well as Washington DC, Guam, and Puerto Rico. Employers can also use the US AliasSearch which uses the same criminal database, but also checks for aliases and maiden names. This search requires a SSN and date of birth along with the necessary information to conduct a typical criminal background check. The search looks through general criminal history such as incarceration records, arrest records, and sex offender registries. Other services offered by include reference checks, education verification, and employment verification.


About - - a founding member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) and cofounder of the Expungement Clearinghouse - serves thousands of customers nationwide, from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies by providing comprehensive screening services. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, with an Eastern Operations Center in Chapin, S.C., is home to one of the largest online criminal conviction databases in the industry. For more information about backgroundchecks’ offerings, please visit




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