Alabama Now Looks to Prosecute Librarians

A bill approved 72-28 by the Alabama House of Representatives could lead to the prosecution of librarians if a person accuses them of distributing obscene or harmful materials to minors or exposes them to people dressed in revealing clothing.

The bill would remove public libraries from the existing exemptions under the obscenity law, and now moves to the state’s Senate. The law would go into effect Oct. 1 if passed by the state Senate and signed by Gov. Kay Ivey (R).

Bill HB-385 expands the term “sexual conduct” in state law to include conduct that “knowingly exposes minors to persons who are dressed in sexually revealing, exaggerated, or provocative clothing or costumes, or are stripping, or engaged in lewd and lascivious dancing, presentations, or activities in K-12 public schools, public libraries, and other public places where minors are expected and are known to be present without parental consent.”

If signed into law, any librarian who violates the law could face a misdemeanor.

Anyone who believes public schools or libraries are violating the law can provide written notice of the violation to the organization’s leaders and the district attorney in the county. Charges could be brought if the librarian fails to remove the material or cease conduct that violates the law within seven days of receiving a written complaint from the public. 

The Hill, ABC