On Monday the Senate Judiciary Committee passed a measure addressing obscene material in libraries across Arkansas.
S.B. 81 by Sen. Dan Sullivan (R – Russellville) and Rep. Justin Gonzales (R – Okolona) prohibits giving or sending harmful sexual material to a child. The bill also eliminates exemptions for libraries and schools in the state’s obscenity statute, and it clarifies how library patrons can go about contesting objectionable material at a library.
As we have written before, the Jonesboro public library has been at the center of multiple controversies over its decision to place books with sexually-explicit images in its children’s section while failing to adopt a policy that separates sexual material from children’s content.
Librarians have made it clear that they want to be free to share obscene material. The library in Jonesboro went so far as to post on Facebook that it isn’t the library’s responsibility to protect kids from obscenity.
Other public libraries in Arkansas have failed to separate sexual material from children’s material as well.
Public libraries are supposed to be for everyone. More and more, Family Council is hearing from people who are deeply troubled by the obscene children’s books that librarians have placed on the shelves of their local libraries.
Bills like S.B. 81 help address those problems.
The bill now goes to the Arkansas Senate for a vote.
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