The Student News Website of Francis Howell North High School.

The Student News Website of Francis Howell North High School.

The Student News Website of Francis Howell North High School.

New Missouri Rule Restricts Library Cards to 18 Years and Older

FHN Media Specialist Gabrielle Weston
Credit to Miranda Fabian
FHN Media Specialist Gabrielle Weston

Over the summer, the Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft ruled for libraries to go through a library certification requirement for the protection of minors. This was then left up to the public libraries to take the rule under interpretation and implement policies up until July 31 that will be annually revised and renewed. The St. Charles County Library then placed the policy of needing to be 18 years or older in order to get a library card. Those younger would need to get parental permission to get a library card.

“I use the library a lot just for getting books because they’re expensive so this would get in the way of me,” junior Moe Bradbury said.

In the past 16 and 17-year-olds were able to go in and get their library card without parental approval. Parents of minors with library cards from prior to this policy are now given the option to opt-out and have the card revoked. 

“In actuality, I think that this will only make teenagers, I think in my opinion more curious, or almost more determined… they’re gonna find ways to do what they wanna do,” FHN librarian Gabrielle Weston said.

With the new policies being put into effect, many have come up with some concerns. Weston’s main concern is that some parents won’t have the proper communication with their children as to what’s appropriate. Another concern that has arisen is the fact that this may limit lower-income households that may not have the resources to help their child succeed. 

“I do have concerns for students that maybe are scared to talk to their parents about certain books to check out,” Weston said.

As far as public libraries these new policies do not seem to be going over into school libraries or the required books in classrooms shown to kids.

“I feel that people should not be afraid of ideas and books, I think they also should not be afraid of people under 18 thinking, that is their job to explore the world and to figure out not what their parents believe, but what they believe individually,” English teacher Joelle Sanders said.

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