Lots of laws apply to and within libraries. Here’s a breakdown to get you started on your own legal discovery on what’s what regarding libraries.
The Right to Read Act
The Right to Read Act is a law that denies communities control over their own schools and ensures harmful outside influence becomes the standard. More coming soon.
Board of Education v. Pico
Board of Education v. Pico is the 1982 US Supreme Court case that pertains to school libraries. It ruled books may not be removed because of the ideas they contained, but they may be removed immediately if they are “educationally unsuitable” or “pervasively vulgar.” Books like “Gender Queer” may be removed immediately under Pico. Some argue such books may not be removed because of the ideas they contain, but that is a fallacious argument is it essentially nullifies the case, and US Supreme Court cases are not to be interpreted in a way that nullifies them. More coming soon.
Miller v. California
Miller v. California is the 1973 US Supreme Court case that pertains to obscenity and led to the Miller test and requires that only a judge can determine if something is obscene. It has almost no application to schools whatsoever. Yet some librarians may argue books like “Gender Queer” are not obscene under Miller and even if it was it has not yet been ruled as much by a court. That’s true, actually, but it’s irrelevant in a school setting. So if you hear that “Gender Queer” is not obscene “as a whole,” that is true, but it is irrelevant in school libraries where the more recent Pico case applies and allows that book to be removed immediately. More coming soon.
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
The Freedom of Information Act has different names depending on the state, but it essentially allows public access to public records. WLA intends to guide parents on how to file FOIA request, to help them fund such efforts, then to build a database of such responses to make things better for everyone. More coming soon.
Laws that Instantiate Libraries
Laws that instantiate libraries are state and/or local laws that apply to any particular library. They allow libraries to act for the benefit of the public, not the harm. Events involving drag queens invariably harm children and are designed for that very purpose. Hence they are illegal in public libraries. But no one realizes that so the lawlessness is allowed. But it is possible to use existing law to prevent harmful activities. World Library Association, being based on common sense and the law, recommends against drag events. More suitable activities could be promoted, like starting a ham radio club for teenagers who could then get FCC licensed and communicate from library to library with portable ham radios! More coming soon.
More Coming Soon
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