New Panel to Screen Children’s Library Books in Fresno

The so-called “book ban” craze has made its way to Fresno County.

On Tuesday, supervisors voted 3-2 to create a parent/guardian panel that will review all current and future children’s material in the county’s libraries. Material that is deemed “age-inappropriate” will be removed from the children’s section, but not the library itself.

“This is not a ban,” said Supervisor Steve Brandau. He introduced the legislation, dubbed the "Parents Matter Act." 

However, critics believe the resolution is an attempt at censorship, especially of pro-LGBTQ material, and see it as part of a larger trend of book banning across the country. Fresno County librarian Sally Gomez told the board that the library already screens material to determine age appropriateness.

Per the resolution, “no Fresno County Library or other County facility shall allow ready access to minors of books and other materials that contain age-inappropriate content contained within designated children’s sections or areas.” Moreover, “parental or guardian consent will be required before accessing or checking out of books and other materials that contain age-inappropriate content.”

Brandau’s proposal got support from Nathan Magsig and Buddy Mendes. Sal Quintero and Brian Pachecho voted no.

The resolution is similar to a measure passed last month in Huntington Beach. 


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