So now the KY GOP is going after ... libraries?!?

Bruce Maples
Bruce Maples

There are certain bills that you just expect to be filed each year in Kentucky’s General Assembly. There will be antiabortion bills; there will be gun bills; there will be tax breaks for the wealthy. (Do you own a private jet?)

In all my wildest nightmares, though, I never thought I would see a bill attacking public libraries.

But here we are.

SB 167, by Phillip Wheeler (R-1984), would do the following two things:

  • Force the terms of all current public library board members to expire at the end of this year;
  • Have the county judge-executive choose their replacements.

Anyone who has been following the news knows exactly what this is about. “Those pesky librarians and their supporters insist on keeping books on their shelves that we don’t like, and they won’t give in when we give them a list of books we want removed. So we’ll just take over all the boards!”

Yep, book banning – that’s what this bill is aiming to do. Once that probably-Republican judge-executive gets to put in those “right-thinking” persons on the library board, it will be only a matter of time before that board tells the librarians what books to remove.

And guess what? This bill is actually MOVING! It passed out of committee yesterday, and is going to get its second reading today. It could pass as soon as tomorrow.

And since there is a companion bill in the House (HB 480), they could actually put this into law pretty quickly.

Republican book-banning: it may be coming to Kentucky after all.


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Bruce Maples has been involved in politics and activism since 2004, when he became active in the Kerry Kentucky movement. (Read the rest of his bio on the Bruce Maples Bio page in the bottom nav bar.)