Senate Bill 125, which prohibits registered sex offenders from loitering in the public library, has moved on to the South Dakota House of Representatives. If passed, the bill will restrict where sex offenders can go and what they can do in the library.
Senator Craig Tieszen (R- District 34) sponsor of the bill, says it doesn't aim to limit the rights of sex offenders. "Sex offenders would still be able to do business in the library. They simply would not be able to loiter there for purposes of contacting children," he said.
The bill will add libraries to the list of places that sex offenders have limited access. "The bill would add to the list which already includes places like parks and schools places like that," said Tieszen.
Jim McShane, director of the Rapid City's Public Libraries, says it makes sense to not allow sex offenders to loiter in the library, especially in the children's section. "It seems to be a very logical thing, certainly we cater to a children and young adults," said McShane. "We want to create a safe environment for them."
McShane says that if a sex offender was with a child, they would be able to use the children section of the library because they would be there for a reason.