There are two bills on the agenda for the House Education Committee on Tuesday 1/25 that, if passed into law, would significantly affect the work of teacher librarians in Arizona. HB2439 proposes to have all material selected for school libraries posted as a list for sixty days in the District office prior to purchase. HB2495 would prohibit any school from referring students to “sexually explicit” material. The bill defines “sexually explicit” very broadly, and offers no exceptions.
AzLA, teacher librarians, and students need YOUR help to advocate against these pieces of legislation. We need our library community to contact the members of the House Education Committee to advocate against these bills, and in favor of school libraries and student access to information. Below you will find talking points for each bill, and contact information for the members of the committee. They meet at 2pm on Tuesday 1/25, so please reach out prior to that.
- Teacher Librarians are trained in collection development. They are uniquely qualified to select relevant and appropriate materials to include in the school library collection. Each title selected for inclusion in a school library is reviewed by the Teacher Librarian and deemed fit for the community need.
- Parents can currently visit the library catalog to see titles that students can access at school.
- School districts release budgets for material purchases that need to be selected and ordered within a specific timeline. The 60 day review period would interrupt the selection process, and limit student access to new material.
- School Districts purchase databases with access to thousands of titles. There is no public preview option without purchase. Teacher Librarians would be unable to offer these resources, and students would be unable to access these valuable resources.
- The 60 day review period would delay access to library material that is current and timely. Students would lose out on what they are interested in reading.
- School Districts approve all school library purchases before ordering.
- School Boards already have policies for challenging books.
- This bill would put an undue burden on School Districts, limit access to reading material, and undermine the expertise of Teacher Librarians.
- The constitution guarantees the right to read and access information.
- This bill would have the unintended consequence of banning classics of literature from curriculums, and limit student access to material selected as appropriate by trained professionals.
- Students should have access to a broad range of ideas, including those that mirror their own experience. This bill would limit access for students seeking resources in the case of sexual assault or domestic violence.
Contact Info for Representatives on the House Education Committee:
Chair: Michelle Udall (R – Dist 25): firstname.lastname@example.org; (602) 926-4856
Vice-Chair: Beverly Pingerelli (R – Dist 21): email@example.com; (602) 926-3396
Daniel Hernandez (D – Dist 2): firstname.lastname@example.org; (602) 926-4840
John Fillmore (R – Dist 4): email@example.com; (602) 926-3187
Joel John (R – Dist 4): firstname.lastname@example.org; (602) 926-3276
Quang Nguyen (R – Dist 1): email@example.com; (602) 926-3258
Jennifer Pawlik (D – Dist 17): firstname.lastname@example.org; (602) 926-3193
Judy Schwiebert (D – Dist 20): email@example.com; (602) 926-3390
Myron Tsosie (D – Dist 7): firstname.lastname@example.org; (602) 926-3157
Thank you for using your voice in support of student access!
Legislative Committee Chair
Arizona Library Association