Alaska Bill would Give Parents access to Children's Library Records


Anonymous Patron writes "From the Associated Press:

Alaska State Senator Lyda Green (R) has introduced a bill requiring public libraries to give parents access to their children's records.

Some librarians say kids seeking information in the library deserve to have their privacy protected, as long as they're using the library responsibly.

Green sponsored the bill after hearing complaints from constituents."

Parents often argue that as the party liable for their children's library
they should have full access to either all or the relevant circulation records.

Wisconsin and some other states have also proposed or enacted such laws.

However several other
issues remain.


One issue at a time:
Missing and overdue books - If a book is missing or overdue and the library cannot tell the parent what the book is I don't think the parent should have any responsibility. It is the kid that has all the "rights" so them they should have the "responsibility".
In regards to kids wanting to look at books that deal with abortion or drugs or other issues that they don't want their parents to know about, just don't check out the book. Part of being a kid is learning the fine art of "sneaking." All these privacy laws make it harder for kids to hone their skills. I bet the girl that is looking at the abortion book practiced some parental deception techniques to have sex with her boyfriend.

Anon Patron wrote: "I bet the girl that is looking at the abortion book practiced some parental deception techniques to have sex with her boyfriend"

I don't know if that was meant as humour, but I didn't find it all that funny. That girl looking at books on abortion might've been raped or a victim of incest. Shouldn't she have privacy rights? Shouldn't she have them even if she DID sneak behind her parents' backs to have sex? Besides the article seemed aimed more at the parents of younger kids, not teenagers.

Oh, yeah. What happened to TALKING to your children about what books they sign out? Or, *gasp* going to the library WITH them and helping them choose their books (or even looking over their shoulders as they sign out.)Sneaky, yes. But a good parental deception technique.


If anyone is interested, the text and bill history are available through Alaska's Bill Action and Status Information System (BASIS).

Slash, no intention to flame you here.

Your points are well taken.

In my worldview, children, those eating my Ho Ho's in the cupboard, leaving skid marked underwear in bathroom and spending pop’s dough for a movie and pizza have no privacy rights. Let me say this again, have no privacy rights.

When they move their themselves and their stinky laundry out of the basement, then they are given privacy rights.

This issue of accompanying your children is a bit disconcerting too. At least to me. Yes parents should, if possible, go with the kids to the library. But this should not be requisite. Why? Because it implicitly infers that libraries are not "child safe". What?? Well this is ALA’s common retort to parents concerned about their children ability to look at porno or other offensive “kid unfriendly� material in the library.

A giant "thank you" to the ALA PR committee for this gem.

As I have mentioned a time or two here. When I was a kid growing up in 70's I remember watching all my favorite cartoon characters go to the library "without" mom and pop. There is a certain freedom with this unlike going to the grocery store or shopping with your parents.

Again Slash, no intention to flame here.

I've gotten to the point that I automatically tune out anyone who mentions incest and rape, along with any other political shibboleths. I'd love to see the left- and right-wingers fight each other on some desert island this election year and leave the rest of us in peace.

No flames taken, although I'm kinda cold this morning, I coulda used the extra warmth. *g* I hope my reply doesn't come off as a flame, because that isn't my intention, either.

I find it interesting that you say children should have no privacy yet one shouldn't go to the library with them? Do you check their books when they come in through the front door or maybe not check them, but ask what they signed out? I only ask this because it seems like conflicting views.

I do think kids should go to the library by themselves, I don't have a problem with that. I was responding to those parents in the article concerned about knowing what their children had signed out.

I don't have children of my own, but I hope if I ever do that I'll let them have some privacy. Does this mean not ever going into their rooms or looking through their stuff? No. But I was an intensely private child (and am an intensely private adult) and truly resented it when my parents went through my things in my room with no cause. Maybe I was wrong to feel that way, but I did. I hope I'd have an open enough relationship with my children that they wouldn't feel they'd have to "hide" too much from me. I also know that as a teen, if my mother or father had ever read my journal or went through my private stuff, which under your "no privacy" stance they'd be entitled to--it would have devestated me and I would've lost a lot of respect for them.

I'm not saying that children and teens should have the absolute privacy of an adult, but I do think they are entitled to some privacy.


It's cold here too Slash, though I suspect not a cold as where you are.

I make a distinction between "privacy rights" and privacy. Sure my child should have privacy. And I intend to give her plenty. (She's four years old and already tells me she wants privacy when going potty. Unfortunately I am not accorded the same privilege).

However she has no absolute right to privacy. If I ever have reason to suspect something out of the ordinary, I plan to investigate. And yes, this would include what she may have checked out at the library. Speaking for myself parenting is a proactive vocation. I don't intend to let my child "educate" herself on topics such as suicide, abortion, drugs, etc.. without my involvement. Judy Blume may be wonderful, but she isn't the mother of my child.

Stay warm!

I didn't mention incest and rape for ANY political reason. I was using it as an example in relation to a discussion on privacy. While you may view it as a political issue, I do not.

I must say, that as a survivor of sexual abuse, heck, as a human being, your compassion for people who have been violated underwhelms me.


We're not as far apart on this issue as I first believed!

And can I say "thank you" for being a parent who will be involved with raising your child and not letting tv/books/media do most of the work for you? I work at an elementary school and I see the results of what happens when parents don't take an active interest in what their children are doing--be it what books they read, what tv shows they watch or even what music they listen to. Or what websites they're visiting. It affects kids negatively when parents don't show an interest in what they're doing, even if the kids do complain, they want to know their parents care.

Guess I better go before I get too far OT!


Subscribe to Comments for "Alaska Bill would Give Parents access to Children's Library Records"