"Children's Books at a Library" by ProjectManhattan / CC BY-SA 3.0

Missouri Bill Would Jail Librarians Who Let Kids Check Out “Inappropriate” Books

Jan 16, 2020

By Hemant Mehta

One of the perks of the library system — besides your ability to check out books for free and reserve space and equipment — is that the larger ones will have just about any book you need. If they don’t have it, there’s a good chance they can acquire it for you.

But a Missouri Republican wants to punish any library that carries a book that’s very unpopular in the community.

State Rep. Ben Baker has proposed HB 2044, which would withhold all state funding from libraries if they allow “minors to access age-inappropriate sexual materials.”

How would that even work? Baker lays it all out in the bill: Public libraries would have to create a five-member “parental library review board,” via an election, for a two-year term. Those parents would get to decide what’s “age-inappropriate sexual material.” Kids would then be blocked from checking out whatever books are on their list.

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