Missouri: “‘We Know What We Are Doing’: Statement From DBRL [Daniel Boone Regional Library Board] Expected on Book-Challenge Rule Change”
UPDATED POST November 16, 2022 Daniel Boone Library Employee Union Calls on Public to Oppose Book Challenge Rule Change (via Columbia Daily Tribune)
Statements were issued Monday by the union and the library’s board of trustees ahead of the public comment period starting Tuesday for the book challenge rule change. The proposed rule change requires libraries receiving state funds to determine what material is “age-appropriate” and restrict minors from accessing some books.
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Direct to Union Statement
Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft last month lifted the proverbial sword of Damocles over libraries in Missouri that receive state funding with a proposed book challenge rule change.
The reason he was able to propose the rule change is because the state library is under the auspices of his office, said Daniel Boone Regional Library Director Margaret Conroy.
“The library community at-large is very concerned about this rule change,” she said. “… I have requested (a meeting) with the secretary. I have not heard back. I asked to be able to talk to him in person.”
She was providing information and seeking guidance Thursday to the library board of trustees. The board, library administration and the employee union in the coming days are expected to issue public statements in opposition to Ashcroft’s proposed rule change. The library also will file a comment with the Secretary of State’s office within the 30-day public comment period, starting Tuesday.
The library board voted unanimously to issue a statement.
Librarians and statewide library associations continue to work with the Secretary of State’s office and legislators on this issue, Conroy said.
“We are trying to get them to understand we know what we are doing, we care about our children, we care about our communities, but we will fall on the sword of intellectual freedom for our communities because we are foundational to democracy,” she said.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.