Setting the Record Straight, Again
A Statement by the Louisiana Library Association in Response to the Education Committee's Review of Senate Bill 7
The Louisiana Library Association encourages the Louisiana senate to assign SB7 back to the Education Committee for review. Opponents and supporters of the bill were not allowed a fair opportunity to express their position on the bill.
We appreciate that the committee allowed a former senator the courtesy of recommending amendments to the bill that would mitigate the harm it will do to public libraries but we are discouraged that the committee summarily rejected all of his amendments and only allowed supporters of the unamended bill to testify, and then quickly voted to pass the bill and adjourn.
The supporters of the bill presented disinformation about materials in their local libraries. Since opponents of the bill weren’t given time to testify, we will set the record straight again. Public libraries organize materials by subject and in age-appropriate sections including children's and young adult areas. Librarians do not shelve adult materials in the children’s section. Libraries have collection development policies in place that determine what materials they collect to support the many and diverse needs of their communities. They also have reconsideration policies and processes in place if someone in the community is concerned about a particular title in their collection. Libraries serve their communities!
Opponents of the bill were unable to share their concern about the cost libraries would incur to satisfy the requirements of the bill and that proscribed actions from the state would not benefit library operations in their communities. The bill proposes a statewide “solution” to a problem that doesn’t exist, but rather creates problems for libraries who will have to comply. Please reconsider this legislation that will be damaging to libraries and the communities they serve.