An open letter to State Legislatures (IN only)

Oppose SB288

37 so far! Let’s get to 50 signers!

Oppose SB288. Indiana’s libraries share the goal of child protection, but SB288, as introduced, is unnecessary. - The bill language is ambiguous and overly broad. The bill circumvents local school and library boards and allows an individual prosecutor to subjectively determine what is “material harmful to minors.” - Challenges to materials and performances are rare. Libraries follow formal policies and provide for due process. - Libraries teach internet safety and digital literacy. Libraries follow state and federal laws related to CIPA (Children’s Internet Protection Act) and utilize filtering technology to control internet access. Libraries are diligent in managing collections, whether print or electronic. - Indiana Code allows individuals to be prosecuted for criminal acts (sexting, seduction, abuse, trafficking), as well as for failure to report abuse and neglect (teachers and librarians are mandatory reporters). - Indiana public and school libraries maintain locally developed and approved collection development policies for how material may be challenged and removed. If there is a book or program in question, it may be challenged. o School libraries and schools operate under local control with state-approved curriculum and adopted standards. Schools allow parents to opt their child out of certain readings and to request an alternative assignment. o Public libraries operate by state standards and board-approved collection development and challenge policies. Most public libraries do not act in loco parentis. It is expected that parents will decide what materials and events their family will check out or attend. - Libraries select materials with their local community in mind. Any library collection will include materials that do not appeal, and may even offend, someone in the community. Intellectual freedom and freedom from censorship are core to our shared values and to democracy. Libraries maintain policies that provide guardrails and procedures for community members to challenge choices.

First sent on February 15 by Indiana Librarians

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