SEND AN EMAIL: Don't Arrest Librarians in Arkansas
Senate Bill 81 in Arkansas would subject every employee of a school or library to criminal prosecution
Arkansas librarians and educators are under attack in the state legislature. Senate Bill 81 would subject every employee of a school or library to criminal prosecution under obscenity laws for any books, ebooks, and educational resources in their library.
UPDATE: SB81 has passed the Senate and is moving to the House Judiciary Committee. Please act now to stop this bad bill.
SB81 would make those public employees subject to a Class D Felony under obscenity law. They could be targets of spurious and costly lawsuits over anything a person might find “obscene”, from classic literature to anatomy textbooks. Libraries and schools have not been targeted like this under obscenity laws in Arkansas. The Arkansas Public School Library Media and Technology Act (Title 6 Chapter 25) already requires public school libraries to have a school board-approved selection, retention, and removal policy - as well as a challenged materials policy. These policies keep school library collections up-to-date and relevant to the curriculum, standards, and our students. This new law would be politically motivated overreach.
Award-winning authors like Margaret Atwood, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and James Joyce have be caught in the crosshairs of ‘obscenity’ challenges. Even Winnie the Pooh was called into question for not wearing pants. Special interest groups have gone after books about Seahorses, Johnny Appleseed, and Hurricanes. It's unreasonable to make criminals out of our librarians and educators based on the political whims of political parties and organizations.
We need people like you to tell your state Representative to stop this bill before it goes any further. Please send a message today.