Stop Book Bans in Missouri! - Jay Ashcroft is Trying to Defund Your Library!

Stop Book Bans in Missouri! - Jay Ashcroft is Trying to Defund Your Library!

December 13, 2022
Petition to
MO Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft and
Signatures: 403Next Goal: 500
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Why this petition matters

Started by Save Libraries

Save MO Libraries! Stop MO Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft from banning books in Missouri! Librarians may face criminal charges for distributing books!

On October 17, 2022, the Office of Jay Ashcroft, the Missouri Secretary of State, submitted proposed rule, 15 CSR 30-200.015 Library Certification Requirement for the Protection of Minors, which would place a series of restrictions on the libraries of Missouri and affect which libraries are able to receive state funding.  It includes

  • Books may be banned or challenged from anyone in the world, including activist groups. Every single challenge would have to be documented and posted publicly, an impossible drain on staff time and resources.
  • All minors will have to have parental consent for any item they check out. A 17-year-old can no longer check out school books without parental approval. Impossible to implement and horrible for children.
  • The secretary of state’s proposal follows Missouri’s enactment of SB 775 in August, subjecting educators to jail time and fines for providing books deemed to include sexually explicit images through school libraries.
  • Because "age-appropriate" and "prurient interest" are not defined, librarians may be brought up on criminal charges for distributing challenged books to minors.
  • Any library that doesn't follow this ridiculous proposal and ban books that are challenged may lose state funding.

The Kansas City Public Library has put together a great resource for why this matters!

The Missouri Library Association has an advocacy page on how to get involved.

Read the statement from the CEO of the St. Louis Public Library in opposition to the rule.

These potential library restrictions would be in opposition to the American Library Association Code of Ethics: “We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.” (2017) It would also be a violations of the ALA Library Bill of Rights: “A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.” (2006) The Society of American Archivists continue this trend with their code of ethics. Members of SAA commit to the idea that, “Archivists actively promote open and equitable access to records in their care as much as possible. They strive to minimize restrictions and maximize ease of access.” (2020) 

The public comment period closes Thursday, December 15, 2022, you can speak up for your right to read. We have to stop this rule from being implemented! Click here to auto create a public comment! Feel free to edit it or send it as is!

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Signatures: 403Next Goal: 500
Support now