June 8, 2023

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Anti-censorship librarians risk jail in the US – Chronicle

(ANSA) — WASHINGTON, May 22 — Librarians in the United States face jail time or thousands of dollars in fines for providing “sexually explicit, obscene, or harmful books” to children and teens. This is confirmed by laws passed by several US states in recent months, according to an analysis by The Washington Post.

In Arkansas, since August 1, school and public librarians, as well as teachers, can be sentenced to six years in prison or a $10,000 fine if they distribute “banned books.” Similar laws already exist in Oklahoma, Tennessee, Missouri, and Indiana, while in Idaho, the governor has vetoed a measure that would allow parents to sue teachers.

Penalties vary slightly from state to state: in Indiana, school personnel can be sentenced to pay a fine of up to $10,000 or serve up to 2.5 years in prison for providing “obscene or harmful materials to minors”; In Oklahoma, the fine has risen to 20,000 and the years in prison to 10. In Tennessee, book publishers and distributors face up to six years in prison and a $103,000 fine. (handle).

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