This bill requires school boards to develop and implement a system to notify the custodial parent or guardian of a pupil, under the age of 16, of the content the pupil checks out from a public library as soon as is practicable, but no later than 24 hours after the checkout. Libraries must also post signs of the notification policy in prominent places.
Under current law, custodial parents/guardians already have the right to disclosure of records relating to the use of the library's documents or other materials, resources, or services by their children. The premise of providing automatic notifications to parents would create a chilling effect on young people's selection of materials and likely trigger challenges by parents to specific materials.
Ultimately, we can't look at this proposal in isolation, but instead alongside efforts at the state and local level to censor materials from young people, including:
- AB 510/SB 489: The so-called “parental bill of rights” that would lead to censorship of topics discussed and materials available in schools
- AB 308/SB 305: Providing an avenue to criminalize teachers, librarians, or other staff at public and private elementary and high schools for distributing or exhibiting “obscene material” to minors
- AB 15/SB 10: Requires public libraries and public schools to limit student access to material deemed “harmful”