For immediate release: October 17, 2022
Contact: JoDonn Chaney, Communications Director
Ashcroft Submits Rule Protecting Minors
From Inappropriate Materials at State Funded Libraries
Jefferson City, Mo. — Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s office has submitted a proposed rule that would establish a certification requirement for libraries receiving state funds and institute measures to protect minors from non-age-appropriate materials.
As stated in the proposal, libraries would adopt written policies determining what material is age-appropriate. As well, state funds could not be used to purchase or acquire inappropriate materials in any form that appeal to the prurient interest of a minor.
Libraries also would be required to honor a parent’s decision as to what material their child has access to in the library. Parents would have the right to challenge a library’s age-appropriate designation for any material.
“When state dollars are involved, we want to bring back local control and parental involvement in determining what children are exposed to,” said Ashcroft. “Foremost, we want to protect our children.”
This proposed administrative rule will be published in the Missouri Register on November 15, 2022, and then have a 30-day comment period. Secretary Ashcroft welcomes and encourages comment submission by mailing the Office of the Missouri Secretary of State, PO Box 1767, Jefferson City, MO 65102 or by email to [email protected].
The Missouri State Library, within the Secretary of State’s office, promotes the development and improvement of library services throughout the state. Since taking office in 2017, Ashcroft has worked closely with Missouri’s libraries and the state legislature to improve state funding and improve public libraries.
“Supporting the efforts of libraries across our state has been a priority of mine since day one – we have been able to provide millions of dollars to libraries through grants and other funding,” Ashcroft said. “Yes, we want to make sure libraries have the resources and materials they need for their constituents, but we also want our children to be “children” a little longer than a pervasive culture may often dictate.”
Visit www.sos.mo.gov to learn more about the Office of the Missouri Secretary of State.