The proposed changes to the Campbell County Public Library’s collection development policy are now out for public comment.
The library board has spent months working on this, including three workshops in January, February and March. Board members went through the 103-page policy page by page, and board chair Sage Bear also recruited Florida nonprofit Liberty Counsel, which recommended changes.
Public comment will be accepted through May 30.
People can submit written comments to the Campbell County Library Board at 2101 South 4J Road, Wyoming 82718, during normal business hours. They also can email Library Director Terri Lesley at email@example.com.
Paper copies of the proposed policy are available at the library. The policy also is available on the library’s website.
A special meeting has been scheduled for 4 p.m. June 7 for the board to review public comment and to consider adopting the revised policy. The board will take public comment at this meeting before voting on the policy.
The draft policy strikes out all references to the American Library Association. This includes the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement, both of which are from the ALA.
In September, the library board voted to have no connection to the ALA.
The policy puts the ultimate responsibility for selecting materials with the library director. The draft proposes adding that the director is “acting on the authority of the Library Board and subject to standards set forth by the Board” when selecting materials.
One of the Liberty Counsel’s recommendations that made it into the draft is a new policy titled “Protecting Children from Harmful, Sexually Explicit Material in Areas Designated for Minors.”
The board tweaked this policy to specify that it refers to the children’s and young adult sections, instead of the entire library.
The policy reads that the library “takes seriously its obligation to not include obscene sexually explicit or graphic materials” in the children’s and young adult sections that “would be harmful to minors or impede their development.”
It also requires the library director to report to the library board at least once every six months regarding compliance to this policy.
There are very few changes to the collection criteria. The draft proposes adding books on family life education to the young adult medical sciences section. Books on sexual education and birth control are still allowable.
I am a resident of Campbell County and just a patron of the library and not a librarian or affiliated with library at all. I am opposed to the split from the ALA for the reasons listed as follows: American Library Association (ALA) is a professional organization for librarians and library workers in the United States. It was founded in 1876 and is now the oldest and largest library association in the world. The ALA's mission is to promote and improve library services and librarianship, as well as to ensure access to information for all.
The ALA provides a variety of resources and services to support libraries and librarians, including:
Advocacy: The ALA advocates for libraries at the national, state, and local levels, working to secure funding and support for libraries and to promote policies that benefit library patrons.
Professional development: The ALA provides training and continuing education opportunities for librarians and library workers, helping them stay up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies in the field.
Intellectual freedom: The ALA is committed to protecting intellectual freedom and the right to read, providing resources and support to libraries and librarians facing challenges to their collections or services.
Diversity and inclusion: The ALA works to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in libraries and in the profession, providing resources and support to help libraries serve diverse communities.
Research and publications: The ALA conducts and supports research on library services and issues, and publishes a variety of books, journals, and other resources for librarians and library workers.
Overall, the ALA plays a critical role in supporting libraries and librarians and promoting access to information for all.
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