State Lawmaker Files Public Library Accountability Act in Response to Sexually Explicit Materials

A state lawmaker has filed the Public Library Accountability Act in response to sexually explicit materials in libraries.  ABC 31 News’ Joel Massey spoke to the author of the bill and to some local people who are supporting it.

Pineville resident Patricia Crawford said, “I think it’s a wonderful idea.  Kids, why ruin their innocence?  They’re little they don’t need to have that stuff explicit material put in their mind that they can not get rid of and that’s the images.”

State Representative Paul Hollis has filed a bill in the upcoming regular session called the Public Library Accountability Act giving the power to municipalities and parishes to make sure their library system operates the way they want it to, specifically about children accessing explicit materials.

“So basically what House Bill 25 does, it just makes it so the members of the library board are more accountable to the elected officials in the area.”

Hollis says there have been conflicting legal opinions from the attorney general about the issue so he wants to settle it in the legislature.

“This week Jeff Landry issued an opinion that said these appointed commissioners of the library do serve at the pleasure of the council but there’s been an opposite attorney generals opinion that was made just over 20 years ago so instead of having these opinions out there why don’t we settle the matter and get the full will of the state legislature to offer what their intent is in regards to the appointments of these commissions.”

Hollis says he expects the bill to have bi-partisan support.

“I think that by the time we get this to the first committee meeting I wouldn’t be surprised if I have the vast majority of the Republican party and there’s also some moderate democrats who have expressed support for the bill because they’ve had issues with their library systems.  So I welcome the bi-partisan support.”

Hollis says taxpayer money should not be used to acquire some of the books he’s seen in libraries and folks I talked with agree.

Crawford said, “I think it’s a shame.  I don’t think we should, our tax dollars should have to go to stuff like that.  I don’t approve of it at all.”

Pineville resident Kay Myers said, “I don’t think they should use taxpayers’ money to buy books for kids to look at that is explicit.”

The legislation on library accountability will be heard in the regular session which begins April 10th.