Purposed State Bill Proposes the Removal of Inappropriate Content From all Library Review Boards

A bill that was recently proposed in the state house is aimed to create parental review boards at public libraries statewide. The elected group of five local adults would have authority to remove g books or other materials with sexual themes that are considered to be inappropriate for youth. The representatives, who were in favor of Missouri House Bill 2044 argued that the additional oversight would protect young patrons when they visit the public setting. The bill that was recently purposed bill has been getting criticism from both from local libraries and national organizations like like the American Libraries Association Office for Intellectual Freedom. Organization officials say the proposal threatens library users’ freedom to read. Meanwhile Officials with Riverside Regional Library, say they are in favor of the idea of attempting to make public libraries safe for children within Missouri. They say they are sure the intentions are good, but there are all of the unintended consequences that come with the bill. Officials also say that roughly 60 percent of new children, who come to all Riverside libraries, are referred by their parents or other patrons. Officials are fearful that the addition of more oversight restricts the country’s freedom to access information. If the bill passes in its current form the bill would include a fine of $500 and a year jail sentence or library staff who don’t go by its rules. However, the proposal is still in the earlier stages and has yet to be voted on.

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