Parental consent forms required for checkouts at Jefferson City library

Jun 2, 2023, 3:10 PM


JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri (KOMU) — The Missouri River Regional Library (MRRL) announced that it will require parents to sign a consent form in order for minors to checkout items without their parent or guardian present.

This form goes hand-in-hand with the state’s new library rule, administered by Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, that went into effect on Tuesday.

The rule restricts libraries from putting any “obscene” material on library shelves. It also allows parents to object to materials as inappropriate and forces libraries to ban “materials in any form that appeal to the prurient interest of any minor.”

“As part of this rule, there is a written requirement that parents give permission for children to check out materials,” Angie Bayne, MRRL’s assistant director of public services, said. “So that’s why we’re doing the consent forms.”

Libraries will adopt written policies to determine what materials are age-appropriate. If they don’t conform to this law, the library will lose state funding.

“How we’re going to be in compliant with the Secretary of State’s new rule, is we are going to expire all 3,000 plus of our minor cards,” Bayne said. “So anyone under the age of 18, their account will be expired sometime in June when we are ready to roll this process out.”

The form, which is still being worked on, will be sent out mid to late June. according to Bayne.

Until then, MRRL will expire all of the accounts held by users under 18 years old. Parents can agree or disagree to be with their children at the library. MRRL will re-activate those accounts as long as a consent form is received.

Bayne says the forms were a recommendation from the State Library of Missouri, and she assumes libraries across Missouri will adhere to this recommendation.

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Parental consent forms required for checkouts at Jefferson City library