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Little signs ‘harmful materials’ library bill into law

BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) - Starting this summer, public libraries in Idaho could be sued by someone who feels a book that is harmful to minors is in the children's or young adult section of the library. 

Governor Brad Little signed the bill into law Wednesday.

Under the new law, if a library is asked to move a book and decides not to, a lawsuit can be filed. If the library loses, it could be fined up to $250 along with any potential civil damages. 

Supporters of the law say it is needed to protect children from harmful material.

Meanwhile, Idaho Falls Library director Robert Wrights says he feels the law is not needed as many libraries already have practices in place to make sure books are in the right place. 

"That seems like a little bit of overreach. We have very good library trustees. They're very educated. They're very aware of what's going on in the library. They set the policy. And I think that's the way it ought to be," Wright said. "I think there is no pornography in this library. Are there materials in the library inappropriate for small children? Absolutely. Because we also serve the adult population. But this bill says any mention of homosexuality is inappropriate for minors. And I don't know how you explain that to same gender families in our community."

The law will go into effect on July 1, the same day most of the laws passed during this legislative session go into effect. 

Article Topic Follows: Idaho Politics

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