Bosler Memorial Library in Carlisle now offers fingerprinting services.
The added service is the result of a contract change at the state level, which named IdentoGo as the new fingerprinting service provider for the commonwealth. Fingerprint-based background checks are required for employees and volunteers in a number of fields as a result of changes made to the child abuse clearance requirements made in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky trial.
As IdentoGo organized its rollout of services, the company looked for locations to house its fingerprinting centers. Carlisle was identified as a target area, and the company had prior success with centers in libraries in other areas.
That led to a cold call to Bosler’s executive director, Jeffrey Swope.
The library offered a downtown location, is handicapped-accessible and is a facility already structured for easy access, Swope said. That initial call led to several months of discussions that required photos of the facility, site visits and paperwork.
The library had to move a staff member’s office to create the dedicated space for the fingerprinting area. Staff also had to go through additional security clearances and be trained on the system, which pipelines all personal information off-site.
“No records are kept here. We have no access to any of that,” he said. “We are the conduit, if you will.”
Walk-ins are not accepted, so people who need fingerprinting services must register and set an appointment online or by telephone, which can be made by calling 844-321-2101 or visiting https://uenroll.identogo.com.
Swope said the procedure is set by the company and its computer system, making it impossible for the library staff to bend the rules for a walk-in. The library is working on an addition to its website that will offer helpful hints and general information about the process so that they can avoid such situations.
Because the center is a subcontracted location, the library is paid for each set of fingerprints, and it also receives a portion of the fee charged for passport photos. In December and January, the fingerprinting services generated $1,500 of income for the library.
“It becomes something that helps support the services and programs and collections here at the library,” Swope said. “It’s an additional funding stream for us, and that, to us, was the win-win of it.”
Libraries have frequently had two or three funding streams on which they fully relied. That puts them at risk if there are cuts, for example, to state funding or if the funding does not increase to match costs. As a proponent of using multiple funding sources, Swope liked the idea of an additional $15,000 to $18,000 for the library’s coffers thanks to the fingerprinting service.
“That’s certainly not enough to fund the library, but it’s one more component piece that makes up wildly diverse funding and revenue streams that we have,” he said.
There’s also no extra burden on the financial staff at the library because payments for the fingerprinting services are also handled through the company, which then sends the library a check for its services.
With an estimated 500 people per month coming through the library for these services, there is also the potential to expose new audiences to the library’s offerings.
“I can promise that some of them have never set foot in this library or haven’t been here in years and years and years or never saw the new building, or were never users of the public library, and that’s a whole new audience for us,” he said.