Weston • Platte County • Missouri
Beth McPherson, Editor

  Opinion and Local

Below is an excerpt from Beth's editorial from this week.  The entire editorial may be found in this week's print copy of the Weston Chronicle or online here.

Libraries are where you can go to learn for yourself, about famous people, how to do it yourself, history, literature, art - the collections in them open your world.
A proposed administrative rule from the Secretary of State’s office would open the door to book banning under the guise of protecting children from inappropriate materials.
It is ill-defined and would keep librarians continually second-guessing themselves. 
The worst is that parents would have to adopt a challenge policy making it possible for anyone to dispute or challenge the library’s age-appropriate designation attached to any presentation, event, material or display in the library, and the results of any such dispute or challenge shall be disclosed to the public and published on the library’s website.
the library would also have to allow any minor’s parent or guardian to determine what materials and access will be available to a minor. No employee shall knowingly grant access to any minor any material in any form not approved by the minor’s parent or guardian.
These two sections alone open the door to book-banning and shifting the parent’s responsibility to guard their own children from materials they disagree with. 
Are libraries going to have to keep files on each minor that comes through the door to determine whether or not an employee can pull a book for them off the top shelf? Will they be responsible for censoring books a minor wants to check out? 
Secretary of State Ashcroft and many other public officials, like to cry “Goverment Overreach” when it suits them. This rule is an expensive, intrusive, unnecessary example of government overreach at its worst. It needs to die a swift death.
See more comments below.
You can send comments to: comments@sos.mo.gov with the proposed rule number, 15 CSR 30-200.015, in the subject field.