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Stories Chosen For You
Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders in March signed Arkansas Act 372 into law. The measure is expected to go into effect Aug. 1.
The Arkansas Library Association and the Central Arkansas Library System are among the groups who filed the lawsuit jointly on Friday.
Critics say the law is extreme and unenforceable.
Arkansas Library Association President Carol Coffey is among those who have assailed the controversial measure.
“Library workers across Arkansas are rightly concerned that the overly broad edicts of Act 372 will prevent them from serving their patrons as they have always done, by providing a wide variety of materials to fill their information needs, and perhaps more importantly, materials that allow each child to see themselves in the books in their library,” Coffey said in a statement.
“The primary mission of the Arkansas Library Association is to support libraries and library workers and to defend intellectual freedom. We join in this lawsuit because it is the best way for us to fulfill our mission.”
The lawsuit alleges the new law violates the state’s constitution’s 1st and 14th amendment protections.
The Arkansas law follows a national trend.
Attempts to ban or restrict access to books at public libraries set a record in 2022 with more than 1,200 such challenges, according to the American Library Association, more than double of what was seen the previous year.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Deborah Caldwell-Stone of the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.
“The last two years have been exhausting, frightening, outrage inducing.”
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