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The next book ban: States aim to limit titles students can search for

Washington Post: “Republican lawmakers across the country are proposing legislation that would target online library databases and library management technology — tools built by a half-dozen large companies that catalogue millions of books, journals and articles that students peruse for assignments. These bills — already enacted in Utah and Tennessee, on the verge of becoming law in Oklahoma, and proposed in at least six other states — are broadly similar. They require databases to remove and block student access to material that is obscene, pornographic, sexually exploitative of children or “harmful to minors” — designations that opponents say could encompass a wide range of texts. Some laws, such as a bill advanced in Nebraska, also require that parents be able to view all content their children can view online. So far, database companies — such as ProQuest, Gale, EBSCO Information Services and Follett School Solutions — say they are tracking the spate of legislation but have no plans to make major changes to their services. In March, Follett, which provides books and library management systems to the majority of American school districts, said it would add a feature allowing parents to track and limit what their children check out from the library. Then it disavowed the idea after receiving backlash on social media…”

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