Any time a law seeks to strip away some of our privacy, it must be closely examined. Rep. Randy Hotham's (R-Dixfield) bill to open children and teenager's library records to their parents does exactly that and a close examination shows it to be a contender for stupidest bill.
Hotham was the only supporter of his bill at a hearing on Thursday.
The Legislature should be making libraries "more, not less, available to children and adults alike," said Richard Thompson of the Maine Civil Liberties Union. He said Hotham's bill "discourages children from library use, making them think twice about what to read or whether to use the library at all."
The state should not violate the confidentiality of library records unless confidentiality poses "a true threat to citizens," but no one has shown that such a threat exists, said Anne Davis, who testified against the bill for the Maine Library Association and the Maine Library Commission, which oversees the Maine State Library.
In addition to the privacy implications, the bill would cost public and university libraries thousands of dollars and make kids less likely to read.
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