Ohio Advances Law to Criminalize Librarians for Materials Deemed "Obscene" | Censorship News

If the proposed legislation passes, librarians and their fellow educators in Ohio could be charged with felonies for handing out books and materials deemed “obscene”; challenges and restrictions continue in Florida and Texas; and Montana librarians speak out.

Ohio Bill Would Charge Teachers, Librarians with Felonies for Handing Out ‘Obscene Materials’
Ohio lawmakers are advancing a new bill that would charge teachers and librarians with felonies for handing out books and materials deemed “obscene.” House Bill 556 has been introduced to establish “criminal liability for certain teachers and librarians for the offense of pandering obscenity,” the legislation states. The proposal would charge teachers and school district librarians with fifth-degree felonies for creating, reproducing, publishing, promoting, or advertising “obscene material.”

Book Challenge Policies Continue to Consume School Employees’ Focus in Florida County | WUFT
Alachua (FL) County district media specialist Patty Duval said she hopes to see fewer petitions in the coming months. “It has taken up at least 90 percent of my time. In doing the research, and interpreting the law, and, you know, putting together the reviews, and the meetings, and the hearings, and reading the books,” Duval said. Duval added that the real purpose of the law, which is to allow parents to air genuine concerns with what is in school libraries and on their children’s curricula, hasn’t seemed to be fulfilled.

Jersey City Woman Fights Book Bans and Threat at Hoboken Library | Jersey City Times
A Library Journal “Mover and Shaker,” Jennie Pu is also overseeing new programs and a renovation of the library.

Mychal Threets is on a Mission to Spread 'Library Joy' to Counter Record Book Bans | NBC
Nearly half of the books challenged or banned last year were centered on LGBTQIA+ subjects or people of color. The internet's favorite librarian says it's time to reverse that trend.

Book Banning Continues to Leave New Hampshire Parents, Lawmakers Divided | Concord Monitor
Concerns over what books should be included in school libraries, and which shouldn’t be, have turned into a “book banning” battleground over what content is appropriate for school children and who gets to make that determination.

Florida County School Board Decides Not to Remove Slaughterhouse-Five, Three Other Books But Limits Access | News4JAX
In St. John's County, FL, Slaughterhouse-Five is now limited to grades 11 and 12, The Freedom Writer’s Diary and L8R G8R are now restricted to 12th grade only with parent permission, and A Stolen Life is now restricted  to 11th and 12th grades.

Conservative Book Ban Activists Target Texas School Districts | Progress Times
McAllen (TX) ISD Superintendent René Gutiérrez and then-Board President Debbie Crane Aliseda received a not-so-subtly threatening email with a demand: purge your schools’ libraries of 676 books or else. The threat was delivered by local representatives of Citizens Defending Freedom and the Remnant Alliance, associated conservative advocacy groups founded outside of the area that have made waves elsewhere across Texas and the nation by successfully forcing school districts to ban books. 

Montana Librarians Speak Out on Proposed School District Changes to Book Collection Procedure | Daily Montanan
Billings (MT) Public Schools librarians said this week it was ironic they were being recognized for the Pat Williams Intellectual Freedom Award from the Montana Library Association at the same time the school board was considering undercutting their work. Librarians, parents, teachers, and community members lined up to tell school board members to respect students’ rights, the First Amendment, taxpayer dollars, and the expertise of librarians and to oppose changes to a library collection procedure. 

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