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Idaho Library Association Statement
Regarding S1289 action on 2/12/2024

Dear Idaho Library Community,

Today Senate Bill 1289 was reported out of Senate State Affairs 6-3. It now advances to the Senate floor on the Second Reading Calendar with a do pass recommendation. 

The Idaho Library Association, on behalf of Idaho’s librarians and the larger library community, deeply appreciates the outpouring of support at today’s hearing on SB 1289.

We appreciate the opportunity to participate in the legislative process and look forward to following the bill.

Thank you for all you do for Idaho. Please reach out if you have any questions.

Your ILA legislative team-

Lance, Mary, Huda, Molly & Erin.

ILA Statement - Senate Bill 1289

ILA stands with our public and school libraries, and we maintain our position that library legislation is unnecessary. That said, we also recognize the political realities of the current legislative session. ILA was invited to provide input on Senate Bill 1289, and we appreciate this acknowledgment of the expertise librarians have to offer on policy.

Senate Bill 1289, while imperfect, endeavors to codify policy and practice for Idaho libraries. It addresses some of our concerns with other library bills that have been presented in the past. Senate Bill 1289 requires libraries to have reconsideration forms and policies in place. Such policies are considered best practice for libraries and we support their inclusion. Senate Bill 1289 also requires that patrons who have concerns about materials follow these reconsideration policies and the decisions of library-formed review panels prior to any potential legal proceedings, providing a measure of local control.

Furthermore, Senate Bill 1289 requires that any request for relocation of materials be based on the three prongs of the Miller Test, as outlined in Idaho Code 18-1514(6)(a), and not on other vague definitions of materials “harmful to minors,” such as those that include any reference to nudity, sex, or homosexuality. The Miller Test provides more clarity for both patrons and libraries in navigating requests for reconsideration and aligns with First Amendment protections afforded to all library patrons.

There are aspects of Senate Bill 1289 that ILA does not support, including the civil cause of action. We encourage libraries with questions about the bill’s content and how it may impact them to reach out to ILA, and we recommend that library staff and patrons speak to their legislators about any concerns they have with Senate Bill 1289.

In service,
The Idaho Library Association Legislative Team

Lance McGrath    Mary DeWalt Huda Shaltry Molly Nota                 Erin Kennedy
     President           Vice President   Legislative Co-Chair Legislative Co-Chair               Intellectual Freedom Chair

NO on House Bill 384!

House Bill 384 is the 2024 version of House Bill 314 (the bill that passed the full legislature and Gov. Little VETOED at the end of session last year)

We urge you to contact legislators on the House State Affairs Committee, and your legislators, and ask them to:

VOTE NO on House Bill 384. 

Why? Here are talking points to use.

  • The bill is vague and overreaching.
  • The bill will force libraries to create an "Adults Only" section.
  • The bill (in its current form) is still a bounty bill. Complainants can get $250 per offense plus undetermined damages.
  • There is no review process of the complaint. Libraries will have to remove identified materials or get sued. This has concerning due process considerations.
  • The bill is an unfunded mandate. Libraries will have to renovate facilities, move collections, and hire additional staff to check IDs and monitor movement in the library.
  • The bill will put libraries in a lose-lose situation: Either they comply with the law and run the very real risk of violating citizen access to constitutionally protected materials, or they do not comply and face costly consequences from censors.

Legislators respond best to messages that contain personal impact stories. A mix of fact and personal impact works well. Always be respectful, clear, and brief.

 (Read the bill here) 

Sign up HERE to testify against House Bill 384, in person or remotely.

Those located in the Treasure Valley or within driving distance should plan to be at the Statehouse no later than 8:45 a.m. on Monday, January 15th.

You may register in advance. The House State Affairs Committee meets at 9:00 a.m. in Room EW40, on the lower level of the Statehouse.

Those outside of the Treasure Valley may register to testify remotely

If you cannot testify in person or virtually, written testimony is accepted. Please email your testimony to Committee Secretary Kennedy Jones at You may also send your testimony to the members of the House State Affairs Committee:

Chair Brent Crane:
Vice Chair Julianne Young:
Joe Alfieri:
Christopher M. Allgood:
Kevin Andrus:
Vito Barbieri:
Jaron Crane:
John Gannon:
James Holtzclaw:
Colin Nash:
Joe Palmer:
Bruce D. Skaug:
Heather Scott:

It is time to make a show of force and stand against House Bill 384.

Be brave. Be bold. Be true.

Let Idaho Read!

Lance McGrath
Idaho Library Association

Image by jcomp on Freepik

ILA Statement Regarding House Bill 384

Libraries have an obligation to follow the law. That is why libraries have boards of trustees to provide oversight, adopt clearly defined and robustly researched policies and procedures, and hire properly trained staff. Libraries also serve diverse communities with different needs, interests, and perspectives. Public and school libraries and the people, boards, and agencies charged with their care and operation bear a special burden of responsibility to the members of their communities. 

Each one. 

Each minor. 

Each adult. 

Student, parent, teacher, employer, retiree. 

Libraries are there to provide library services to them all without discrimination or favor. Public and school libraries are obligated to support the greatest freedom in the access to information allowed under applicable rules and regulations. By following the law and professional practices, libraries preserve and protect the First Amendment rights of all library users. 

The proposed amendments to Idaho Code 18-1514 in House Bill 384 undermine the rights of library users by placing the power of censorship into the hands of a few. Under the proposed changes, a single individual can restrict access to constitutionally protected materials.  And might make $250 for their trouble. The proposed bill is also an unfunded mandate that will wreak havoc with the budgets of libraries and library districts across Idaho. Libraries will be forced to create an “Adults Only” area for any books that are challenged under this new law. This will likely result in many libraries needing to renovate facilities or hire additional staff to monitor movement in the library and check IDs. 

And, since the law is so vague, libraries will not know whether any particular item may be subjectively challenged under this bounty law. If libraries are able to comply with the requirements of this law, they face the very real threat of violating the civil rights of library users whose access to constitutionally protected library materials has been infringed. This bill presents a lose-lose situation for Idaho’s libraries and Idaho’s people.

For these reasons the Idaho Library Association cannot support the proposed changes to Idaho Code 18-1514 in House Bill 384. We look forward to working with Idaho’s elected leaders on approaches to library services that preserve and protect the First Amendment rights of all Idahoans.

In service,

Lance McGrath Mary DeWalt Huda Shaltry Erin Kennedy
President Vice President Legislative Chair Intellectual Freedom Committee

Idaho Library Association

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Chair: Huda Shaltry

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