RUSTON, La. (KTVE/KARD) — Conservative group from Lafayette, Citizens for a New Louisiana, were invited to Ruston to answer questions and concerns citizens may have regarding House Bill 25. If passed, the bill would change the library’s current law .
Senate Bill 7 would limit minors’ access to materials that are considered sexually explicit.
Members of the citizens for a new Louisiana expressed their support for both bills that could change the future of the Ruston Public Library.
Senate Bill 7 seeks to restrict minors from accessing materials some consider to be sexually explicit.
Board members are looking to educate people on the bills in order to gain the support of the community as well as local legislators.
Library board member William Jones says he is in support of the bill, but he says he doesn’t agree with the bill’s definition.
“Here is the problem. This bill is key on the definition of sexually explicit material. I have read the definition, and dictionaries, encyclopedias, and the Bible will have to be labeled as sexually explicit.”
The bill will also require libraries to set up a system that would allow parents to choose a library card that would restrict minors from checking out these materials.
“Someone under 18 can not walk in here and get their own library card, the parent comes in and gets the library card for him.”
“I think this sexually explicit stuff shouldn’t be in the kids’s section. I think each parish library has ability, we proved it in Lafayette,” said Michael Lunsford, executive director of Citizens for a New Louisiana.
Although some residents agreed these materials should be restricted from the children’s section, others said it’s educational.
“It’s healthy and appropriate and necessary for children to learn about their bodies and sex,” said Aimee Blackham, counseling psychologist, PhD.
“If this is what we are concerned about, you’ve already missed the bus parents,” said Fredrick Pinkney, an educator. They are going through their phones texting and sexting here because it is going on. If we are here for this, and if this is what it is, you need to sit down and have a family dinner.”
HB 25 proposes a change to the nature of the board members’ terms and management of the library.
Currently, each board member serves a five-year term and all terms are staggered, meaning there is a continuous flow of members coming in and out of the board. With the proposed bill, the governing authority (in this case, the Lincoln Parish Police Jury) will be able to terminate and replace board members at any time and allow them to serve an indefinite amount of time. This also means that the Police Jury will have the authority of managing the library versus the Board managing it, which is the system that is currently in place.