Public libraries are protected by the Library Bill of Rights. The access to ideas and information is essential to a functioning democracy and it assures that everyone's values are reflected in public libraries.
The Library Bill of Rights protects people from the government deciding what people can and cannot read.
The Library Bill of Rights ensures that anyone can read and have access to the information and books that they want, regardless of what others might think of that content.
The Library Bill of Rights, based on the First Amendment includes the right for minors to have access to books and information, with the permission of their parent or guardian.
It does not allow others to make that decision.
There is a faction of conservative community members in Kenosha working to create anxiety about books and ban books in KUSD schools. None of the leaders of Kenosha MassResistance have children who attend KUSD schools. But a man who has joined their efforts recently gained access to the contact information for the over 12,000 KUSD students in order to pursue their efforts to ban books. You can read more about that here.
But the good news is, KUSD has a process for PARENTS of KUSD students to decide what is appropriate for their own child to read.
No one has the right to make that decision for other people's children.
The country is experiencing a surge in book banning, driven by conservatives that have focused primarily on books that deal with gender identity, sexuality and race and race history.
Everyone's values are different. Public schools belong to all of us and they work to include everyone's values. While some people do not want their children/grandchildren to check out books that address topics like sexuality and gender identity or America's Black history and racism, others embrace the opportunity to have their children learn about these topics in a way that is safe and well vetted from books that have been chosen by professional school librarians.
KUSD Provides a Process So Parents Can Make Book Choices For Their Own Children Based On Their Family Values
Since everyone's values are not the same, it's a parent's job to make sure their family values are communicated-both to their own child and to the school-if a parent has concern about book content.
KUSD provides a process for parents to parent their own children when it comes to the books they choose to checkout from KUSD libraries.
Here is the process for a parent to manage the books checked out by THEIR own child (not everyone else's):
Parents can access the school library catalogs HERE.
Parents should then choose their child's school.
Parents can then use the search box to search for a title, author or topic, or scroll down to browse the popular titles, genres, eBooks, etc.
Parents can click on a title to view details about the book, such as reading level, interest level, summary and subject/genre labels.
Parents may also contact the school librarian to request a tutorial on how to search the catalog, or schedule a time to browse the collection.
Parents that do not want their child to have access to certain books may request a notification is added to their student patron record. When their child attempts to check out books, this note reminds library staff that they do not have parent permission to check out books listed in the note.
Parents can also call the school Library for their child’s library schedule and monitor what books their own child checks out.
Parents should also regularly talk with their own child about content they approve/disapprove of so the child learns what is considered appropriate for their own family values.
Parents can contact the school if their child brings home a book they don't approve of, and indicate your child should not check it out again.
Parents may also call the school library to request a list of the books currently checked out to your child.
For information about the KUSD Library Department please see visit their website.
Public schools belong to all of us.
You can listen to parent and community comments from the lastest KUSD school board meeting here.