DESLOGE — In line with the Missouri State Library’s “Protecting the Minors” administrative ruling, which prohibits libraries from buying or lending “obscene” materials to children and affects state funding, the Desloge Public Library Board held a meeting July 10 to ensure that the library’s policies meet the rule’s requirements. The board also reviewed its summer reading program, which begins Monday.
Protecting the Minors
Under the new rule, which took effect May 30, the Library Certification Requirement for the protection of minors encompasses specific criteria that must be met before libraries receive state monies.
Librarian Misty Boyer described the library’s program, highlighting the wide range of book categories available for readers.
“Given the sheer volume of books we order for the library, we can’t read them all to know what is in them. What we can do, though, is offer parents the ability to specify the categories from which their children can check out books,” she said.
The first requirement mandates libraries to create and publish a written policy outlining their approach to considering age-appropriateness when selecting materials.
Additionally, the rule prohibits libraries from buying materials classified as “child pornography,” “pornographic for minors,” or “obscene” according to Missouri law.
To uphold the principles of the policy, libraries must also provide a policy that encourages parents and guardians to determine the materials their children can access.
Library staff members are forbidden from offering or suggesting materials to children that their parents or guardians have not approved.
In response to the new rule, libraries must refrain from displaying “age-inappropriate” materials in areas primarily used by children or teenagers. Events held at libraries must be designated for specific age groups to ensure appropriate content.
Moreover, the policy requires libraries to adopt a written procedure for parents or guardians to challenge the appropriateness of certain materials, events, or displays. The results of these challenges are to be made publicly available on the library’s website.
To remain in compliance with state guidelines, libraries are required to submit their written policies to the state librarian annually by July 31.
In addition to discussing the new policy, members of the Desloge Public Library Board also unveiled details of its upcoming annual summer reading program.
The program, scheduled for Monday through Friday next week, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., will be centered on the theme “All Together Now.” The initiative aims to highlight how local heroes working together contribute to making the community a safer and better place to live.
Throughout the week, the program will feature participation from multiple community organizations, including the St. Francois County Ambulance District, the police department, the fire department, and a local teacher or principal with a service dog. Each day of the program will offer a story, a craft and a snack, along with attendance prizes for all participants.
The summer reading program is open to children from pre-kindergarten through the fourth grade, and interested individuals can still register for the event.
For further information about the Desloge Public Library’s policy on age-appropriate materials or to inquire about the summer reading program, interested parties can contact the library at 573-431-5506.
Grant Hutchings is a reporter for the Daily Journal.