Take Action Against Censorship Rules!

The rule proposed by the Missouri Secretary of State directly impacts what libraries are allowed to purchase and display in their collections. If implemented, it will create additional costs to library services at the local level, and impede your ability to access resources paid for by your tax dollars. For many libraries, funding controlled by the state library is crucial to ensure that their doors stay open, and is necessary to provide access to materials and programs that benefit your community. 

This proposed rule also requires librarians to enforce the standards of individual parents and guardians. MLA believes it is the responsibility and right of parents or guardians to choose what is appropriate for their own children, but for one individual or group to make those decisions for every family is inappropriate, and a violation of other parents’ rights. 

We encourage you to read the details of the proposed rule to be fully informed on what restrictions this rule would require. The public comment period is open to everyone and starts November 15, 2022. We urge you to write (or call) the Secretary of State’s office, or to use the templates written by MLA and embedded in the comment box. If using the template, please feel free to edit and modify the language to represent your views and concerns, and make your voice heard! Key points include:

  • What financial costs would be associated with implementing and maintaining any portion of this rule?
  • How will the costs and/or diminished services affect your customers and community?
  • (Rule point B) What services would be diminished or stopped entirely by this rule? With no funds allocated beyond materials appropriate for minors, can anything for adults be purchased?
  • (Rule point C) Can minors use public libraries without parents present with this rule in place? Could a teenager visit the library to study after school, and could a librarian help them find research material without a parent there to confirm each item is approved?
  • (Rule point D & E) Who determines what is appropriate? Challenges to children’s books include anything with magic, talking animals, LGBTQ+ characters, race, and far more.
  • (Rule points A & F) Policies for collection development and for challenging materials already exist, and can be found on library websites. What does this rule hope to accomplish beyond being a political statement?

Public comments may be mailed to the Office of the Missouri Secretary of State PO Box 1767, Jefferson City, MO 65109 or emailed to comments@sos.mo.gov. To be considered, all comments to the proposed rule must be received during the comment period of November 15, 2022 to December 15, 2022 and must include "15 CSR 30-200.015" in the subject line.