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As per a state proposal, Jefferson County Library trustees have responded

Story Highlights
  • The resolution of the Jefferson County Library Board said that "the right to read is an important part of intellectual freedom. Parents should be the ones responsible for their children's reading and not libraries themselves." The library also opposed "infringements on the parent's right to choose materials for their child."
  • The Board of Trustees "does not support the removal of local control where library administration is concerned.”

The Jefferson County Library System voted in a resolution that reaffirms its commitment to intellectual freedom, in relation to an administrative rule proposed by the Missouri Secretary of State.

Ashcroft’s proposal was denied by Missouri’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.

On November 15th, Ashcroft announced a proposal that would require libraries to receive certification in order to receive state funding. The rules of being certified are based on the library implementing measures to protect minors from non-age-appropriate materials. Ashcroft and the Secretary of State Office, however, don’t define what kinds of materials are or are not age appropriate.

Missouri residents were given 30-days to consecutively respond before a decision was made.

The proposed administrative rule states that state funds can’t be used to buy or acquire inappropriate materials, even in formats that minors might find appealing.

The Supreme Court has said that libraries would need to adopt written policies about what material is appropriate for certain ages, and parents would have the right to challenge those decisions. The Ashcroft office claimed that parents’ decisions on what their own children could access would need to be honored by libraries.

When discussing their stance on the issue, Ashcroft said that he wants to “make sure libraries have the resources and materials they need for their constents,” but he also wants children to be “children a little longer.” He worries that there’s a pervasive culture often dictating how quickly each child should grow up.

The Jefferson and St. Louis County library systems passed resolutions during their meetings to voice their opposition to Ashcroft’s proposal.

The resolution of the Jefferson County Library Board said that “the right to read is an important part of intellectual freedom. Parents should be the ones responsible for their children’s reading and not libraries themselves.” The library also opposed “infringements on the parent’s right to choose materials for their child.”

The Board of Trustees “does not support the removal of local control where library administration is concerned.”

 

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