West Virginia considers prosecuting librarians

Ranked 50th out of 50 states for education, West Virginia is considering a new law to allow for the prosecution of librarians.

A new bill in West Virginia will allow librarians, museum staff, or school employees to be imprisoned if a minor obtains materials deemed "obscene." The range of things defined as obscene is, of course, left wide open. Rather than ban the books, arrest anyone willing to share a book!

During a public hearing on the bill last Friday, Democratic minority whip Shawn Fluharty said that "the librarians on staff might not know if a book has obscene matter in it or may or may not have shown it to someone," reported the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

"But because it was in the facility and it was sitting on a shelf, it could still be prosecuted," he said. "What you are seeing is done in third-world countries, and now it's going to be a headline in West Virginia."

Supporters of HB4654 said the bill does not ban books or prohibit adults from distributing books with obscene materials, the newspaper reported.

USA Today