New Rule Takes Effect Today: “Missouri Libraries Now Required to Adopt New Obscene Material Policy to Receive Funding”
Libraries across mid-Missouri are adapting to a new rule that took effect Tuesday.
The rule restricts libraries from putting any “obscene” material on library shelves. It also allows parents to object to materials as inappropriate and force libraries to ban “materials in any form that appeal to the prurient interest of any minor.”
Any library that doesn’t submit to the restrictions could lose state funding.
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The secretary of state’s office proposed the change in October 2022. Ashcroft says the rule protects minors from non-age-appropriate materials.
Libraries are now also required to allow parents to challenge a library’s age-appropriate designation for any material. The results of any dispute or challenge must now be published on the library’s website.
Some librarians have criticized the regulations. Rules in most libraries allow community members to challenge material, and it is already illegal to give books deemed obscene to minors.
The rule was opposed by the Missouri Library Association, The ACLU and the Missouri Association of School Librarians.
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.