Scenic Regional Library’s Statement on MO HB 2044
Access to Materials and Monitoring the Materials Children Read
Public libraries provide materials on a variety of subjects for all members of the public, and libraries are confident that parents are capable of deciding what is appropriate for their children.
Public libraries recognize that parents should have knowledge of what types of materials their children are accessing and we encourage parents to take an active role in this process.
What one parent sees as objectionable may not be objectionable to another. However, we do not believe that one parent, or a small group of parents should censor materials for others’ children.
Parents are capable of reviewing materials accessed by their children and making decisions about their own family values without government interference.
The decision to access materials in the library should be a decision made between a parent and their own children and not a new bureaucratic, unregulated government entity.
Collection Development & Challenge Procedures
Librarians have specialized knowledge and training related to collection development and select materials systematically based on a number of criteria. Materials are selected and placed in age-appropriate areas already.
Patrons may challenge the placement or inclusion of a program, title, or titles through the reconsideration process, during which library administration and the library board, appointed by elected officials, will address the patron’s concern for the material(s) and make a decision on the patron’s challenge.
Library boards are appointed by duly elected officials and enact policies that reflect the wants and needs of their respective communities, including a policy for reconsideration of materials.
Access & Censorship
Public libraries exist to provide equitable access to information to all of its users, as it is key to having an informed populace.
Public libraries already have procedures in place to assist patrons in protecting their own children while not infringing upon the rights of other patrons or censoring materials.
Librarians should not be imprisoned for doing their jobs and in service to their communities, for which they have received training and formal education.
Opposition to HB2044, Censorship, and Support of the Freedom to Read
Scenic Regional Library will always stand against censorship and for the freedom to read, and therefore opposes Missouri House Bill 2044.