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Proposed Rules for Alabama Libraries Would Restrict Inappropriate Books for Children

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) – Governor Kay Ivey proposed rules for public libraries in Alabama to adopt when it comes to placing restrictions on books deemed inappropriate for children. 

According to WAFF’s newspaper partner, The Decatur Daily, the Lawrence County Public Library Director M. Rex Bain said the proposed rules are a form of censorship due to withholding information from the target audience. 

The Alabama Public Library Service (APLS) board voted on November 16 to publish and receive public comment on the new rules Ivey recommended in October. 

Sherry Sakovich, director of the Decatur Public Library, said she believes the majority of libraries rely on the American Library Association for training and accessibility of information.

“The ALA is to librarians much like the American Medical Association is for physicians,” Sakovich said. “It’s a trade organization. I know that a lot of public librarians rely on ALA for getting the most up-to-date information or trends about their profession.”

While, State Sen. Arthur Orr, (R-Decatur), said he believes APLS should withdraw from ALA due to the division in values in Alabama in comparison to other states. 

“I have not gone through every library in the state and examined the children’s section of each library,” Orr said. “There ought to be certain standards that we have to make sure that inappropriate literature, books or whatever, are not in the children’s section.”

Leaders remain at a crossroads on the proposed rules conversation. Orr says the library controversy is an “emerging type of issue,” that he doesn’t foresee an across-the-board, quick solution that will make everyone happy.

As it remains there is a process for reconsideration in the library, as Bain said people can fill out a form. However, in his 10 years of working with the library, he said there has not been a single challenge to any items on the shelves.

Source: WAFF48