Group warns Iowa's war on books now targeting public libraries
Briefly

The Iowa Library Association is sounding the alarm over a bill introduced in the Senate that could have dire consequences for public libraries in the state. If passed, the bill would repeal the state law that mandates local governments to levy taxes for public libraries, potentially leading to closures or significant reductions in services. Another provision in the bill could also empower cities to change library board structures, which threatens the autonomy and financial stability of libraries. The bill has drawn criticism from librarians and supporters who argue that it undermines the essential role that modern libraries play in communities, offering more than just literature but also human services and free loan programs for household items.
The bills are an extension of a larger movement that is hypercritical and focused on books or libraries, Helmick says.
In addition to the Senate bill, a House bill was introduced that would allow city councils to change the way library directors are hired without voter approval. These bills are part of a larger movement in Iowa that has seen a state law passed last year potentially restricting certain books from school library shelves. A judge temporarily blocked the law in December, noting that it was overly broad. The bills and the larger movement have sparked concern among library advocates and professionals who are fighting to protect the vital services and resources that libraries provide to their communities.
Some of Iowa's public libraries have pushed back...
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