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Indiana Legislative Update: The bill has changed yet again

HB 1447 Passed

April 28 UPDATE: The Indiana Legislature added some of the language of SB 12 into HB 1447. However, public libraries have been removed from the language; as passed, this bill only applies to school libraries.

Under this new legislation, schools will be required to have a process in place to allow individuals to challenge books on school library shelves. Most schools already have such processes in place.

The difference is that the 'educational defense' for keeping an item on shelves no longer applies: librarians can not claim that a book should be included solely because it is educational. Furthermore, the felony charge has been maintained in the final version of this bill. This means that if, after the above-mentioned challenge process has been exhausted, a prosecutor still finds the material to be harmful to minors under existing Indiana law, they may bring felony charges.

However, educators may use a 'scope of employment' defense to argue that providing materials falls within their job duties. You can read more about the content of the bill here.

HB 1447 quickly passed both the House and Senate and now heads to Governor Holcomb's desk.

We are relieved that public libraries have been spared the most concerning aspects of this legislation, but we are aware that this is not the end of the battle against censorship.

We would like to thank everyone who contacted their legislators to support their libraries. We would also like to thank all of the legislators who listened, paused, and considered the ramifications of such legislation. 

--

APRIL 21 UPDATE: After the defeat of language calling for felony charges against librarians and educators in SB 12 and SB 380 earlier in April, the Indiana legislature is once more considering criminalizing librarians and educators for the materials on their shelves.

You can read about the revival of this legislation here.

We don't know for sure which bill this language will be slipped into this time, but we do expect it will be heard next week.

The fact of the matter is that local processes are already in place for parents or other concerned parties to challenge items on library shelves. These processes work and we support them.

The only thing legislation like this does is punish educators and librarians who give challengers a result they don't like - with felony charges and mandatory jail time.

What Can I Do?

The current legislative session has ended and the bill has been passed as it is described on this page. If you would like to share your opinion on the results, you can find your representative's contact information here.

Our Concerns

Here is the general gist of our concerns with the language from the original version of this bill, SB 12:

  • Charging librarians and educators with felonies is not an appropriate response to the issue of challenging books.
  • It is a librarian or educator’s job to ensure that children have access to a range of well-reviewed quality books. They are trained and follow objective processes for material selection.
  • Libraries and schools already have processes in place for challenging books on their shelves, and these processes work.

Wait, what happened to SB 380?

SB 380 was an education bill about graduation rates that, at the last minute, had language from SB 12 inserted into an amendment. SB 12 is a bill about book challenges in school and public libraries.

With this amendment, SB 380 became a serious concern for libraries and educators because it meant we could be charged with a level 6 felony for the materials on our shelves. A level 6 felony comes with mandatory jail time (minimum 6 months). Level 6 felony charges are usually brought for things like strangulation, fraud, and property theft.

However, on April 10, the committee passed SB 380 WITHOUT the SB 12 amendment!

Upcoming Events
Fri, Feb 23, 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Hobart - Children's Area
Meet and read to a local LCC K-9 comfort dog and its handler. LCC K-9 comfort dogs show kindness and calm to people throughout the... more
Meet and read to a local LCC K-9 comfort dog and its handler. LCC K-9 comfort dogs show kindness and calm to people throughout the community and beyond, making them excellent listeners.

Sat, Feb 24, 10:00am - 11:30am
Merrillville - Meeting Room A
Learn how to grow mini succulents in almost anything, including little dishes and glasses. A $5 fee paid at time of event covers all... more
Learn how to grow mini succulents in almost anything, including little dishes and glasses. A $5 fee paid at time of event covers all materials. Class begins promptly at 10:00 a.m.
Registration is now closed

Sat, Feb 24, 11:00am - 12:00pm
Munster - Large Meeting Room
Join us for a yoga program. Each session includes a series of asanas (postures) & sequences of pranayam (breathing exercises) for good... more
Join us for a yoga program. Each session includes a series of asanas (postures) & sequences of pranayam (breathing exercises) for good health. Please bring your own mat to class.

Sat, Feb 24, 11:00am - 12:00pm
St. John - Large Meeting Room
In this program children will have the opportunity to read aloud to a Power Paws therapy dog and their volunteer.

Sat, Feb 24, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Hobart - Programming Room
We'll watch episodes from an anime series. We'll also have art supplies on hand if you want to draw, sketch, or get creative or bring in... more
We'll watch episodes from an anime series. We'll also have art supplies on hand if you want to draw, sketch, or get creative or bring in your own sketchbook and projects to work on.

Sat, Feb 24, 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Merrillville - Meeting Room B
Join us for a trivia competition! Work in teams or individually to answer general knowledge, history, and pop culture questions to... more
Join us for a trivia competition! Work in teams or individually to answer general knowledge, history, and pop culture questions to become a Library Trivia CHAMPION!!! Please register.

Mon, Feb 26, 10:30am - 11:30am
Merrillville - Meeting Room C
This program aims to help prepare adults for the USCIS test. Requires intermediate English language skills.

Mon, Feb 26, 11:00am - 12:00pm
Merrillville - Small Group Room #2
Are you having laptop, smartphone, or tablet issues? Book this one-hour session to receive individualized assistance with your... more
Are you having laptop, smartphone, or tablet issues? Book this one-hour session to receive individualized assistance with your technology problems. Patron must bring their device with them.

Mon, Feb 26, 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Meeting Room
Book Buddies will be discussing "When All is Said" by Anne Griffin.

Mon, Feb 26, 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Dyer-Schererville - Meeting Room Whole (A & B)
The Library is YOUR library. Help your local library create programs and initiatives that help and interest you. We'll brainstorm and... more
The Library is YOUR library. Help your local library create programs and initiatives that help and interest you. We'll brainstorm and discuss ways to improve teen programs.

Mon, Feb 26, 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Merrillville - Meeting Room B,Meeting Room C,Meeting Room D
English Classes are for participants who are learning English as a second language. Different levels are available. Classes are free.

Mon, Feb 26, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Highland - Meeting Room A
Inviting teens, ages 12-18, to LEGO® and Board Game Night. Stop in to build your own LEGO® creation or pick a board game to play... more
Inviting teens, ages 12-18, to LEGO® and Board Game Night. Stop in to build your own LEGO® creation or pick a board game to play instead. Snacks will be provided. Registration required.

Mon, Feb 26, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Munster - Children's Program Room
Children (completed grades K-5) may free build with the library's LEGO® blocks or build a 'challenge' project. Constructions will be... more
Children (completed grades K-5) may free build with the library's LEGO® blocks or build a 'challenge' project. Constructions will be displayed in the library until the next LEGO® Club meeting.

Mon, Feb 26, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Munster - Large Meeting Room
Calling all teen Anime fans! Come out and join other Anime fans as we watch a couple of episodes, do a fun activity, and have snacks.... more
Calling all teen Anime fans! Come out and join other Anime fans as we watch a couple of episodes, do a fun activity, and have snacks. Please register.

Mon, Feb 26, 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Merrillville - Meeting Room A
Curious minds of all ages will learn how to view the April 8th solar eclipse safely and receive a pair of viewing glasses. Please... more
Curious minds of all ages will learn how to view the April 8th solar eclipse safely and receive a pair of viewing glasses. Please register everyone who will be attending.

Tue, Feb 27, 10:15am - 11:00am
St. John - Large Meeting Room
This is a 45 minute program for children, ages 4-6, and their caregiver(s). We will read books, sing songs, and make a craft!

Tue, Feb 27, 10:30am - 11:00am
Dyer-Schererville - Children's Programming Room
Babies and toddlers, birth - 23 months of age, accompanied by their caregivers, will enjoy this program filled with rhymes, books,... more
Babies and toddlers, birth - 23 months of age, accompanied by their caregivers, will enjoy this program filled with rhymes, books, music, and movement designed to help early literacy skills.
This event is full

Tue, Feb 27, 10:30am - 11:15am
Merrillville - Children's Programming Room
In this program, children will develop pre-reading skills as they enjoy stories, music, and a craft.

Tue, Feb 27, 10:30am - 1:30pm
Hobart - Programming Room
Join us and bring your current painting projects/materials for an opportunity to chat and create!

Tue, Feb 27, 10:30am - 11:15am
Munster - Large Meeting Room
This is a storytime for children 2 & 3 years of age, with a caregiver, featuring stories, fingerplays, music that teach early literacy... more
This is a storytime for children 2 & 3 years of age, with a caregiver, featuring stories, fingerplays, music that teach early literacy skills. In person craft time will follow the storytime.
This event is full

Tue, Feb 27, 10:30am - 11:00am
Highland - Children's Programming Room
Babies and toddlers, birth - 23 months of age, accompanied by their caregivers, will enjoy this program filled with rhymes, books,... more
Babies and toddlers, birth - 23 months of age, accompanied by their caregivers, will enjoy this program filled with rhymes, books, music, and movement designed to help early literacy skills.
This event is full

Tue, Feb 27, 11:00am - 11:30am
Dyer-Schererville - Children's Programming Room
Parents and caregivers of children, birth-23 months, are welcome to chat with one another and enjoy a refreshment while children explore... more
Parents and caregivers of children, birth-23 months, are welcome to chat with one another and enjoy a refreshment while children explore with books and puzzles! Registration is required.

Tue, Feb 27, 11:00am - 12:30pm
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Meeting Room
Relax via this coloring for adults open session. Enjoy a warm cup of coffee & tea while getting creative with no pressure for... more
Relax via this coloring for adults open session. Enjoy a warm cup of coffee & tea while getting creative with no pressure for perfection. Coloring materials provided.

Tue, Feb 27, 11:30am - 12:00pm
Cedar Lake - Children's Programming Room
This is a storytime program for babies and toddlers, birth - 23 months of age, accompanied by their caregivers, filled with rhymes,... more
This is a storytime program for babies and toddlers, birth - 23 months of age, accompanied by their caregivers, filled with rhymes, books, music, and movement designed to help early literacy skills.

Tue, Feb 27, 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Dyer-Schererville - Meeting Room Whole (A & B)
Watch a science-featured documentary from our Kanopy platform.

Tue, Feb 27, 1:30pm - 2:15pm
Munster - Children's Program Room
Join us for a storytime program featuring stories, fingerplays, music, and an in person craft that teach pre-reading skills. This... more
Join us for a storytime program featuring stories, fingerplays, music, and an in person craft that teach pre-reading skills. This program is for kids 4 to 6 years of age and their caregivers.

Tue, Feb 27, 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Highland - Meeting Room A
Join the Fact or Fiction Book Club in discussing "Wrong Place Wrong Time" by Gillian McAllister. Copies are available at the Highland... more
Join the Fact or Fiction Book Club in discussing "Wrong Place Wrong Time" by Gillian McAllister. Copies are available at the Highland Branch.

Tue, Feb 27, 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Dyer-Schererville - Dyer-Schererville Zoom Room
The Between the Lines Book Club reads "The Diamond Eye" by Kate Quinn. Books for this Zoom discussion can be picked up at the... more
The Between the Lines Book Club reads "The Diamond Eye" by Kate Quinn. Books for this Zoom discussion can be picked up at the Dyer-Schererville branch a month prior to the event.

Tue, Feb 27, 4:00pm - 5:15pm
Cedar Lake - Meeting Room A
Have you seen people playing games like Dungeons & Dragons and want to try it yourself? We will be playing the fantasy RPG "Dragonbane",... more
Have you seen people playing games like Dungeons & Dragons and want to try it yourself? We will be playing the fantasy RPG "Dragonbane", a game similar to D&D. Beginners are welcome. For ages 12-18.

Wed, Feb 28, 10:30am - 11:30am
Merrillville - Meeting Room C
This program aims to help prepare adults to pass the Citizenship test at USCIS in Chicago.

Wed, Feb 28, 10:30am - 11:00am
Merrillville - Children's Programming Room
Babies and toddlers, birth - 23 months of age, accompanied by their caregivers, will enjoy this program filled with rhymes, books,... more
Babies and toddlers, birth - 23 months of age, accompanied by their caregivers, will enjoy this program filled with rhymes, books, music, and movement designed to help early literacy skills.

Wed, Feb 28, 11:00am - 12:00pm
Merrillville - Children's Programming Room
Join fellow baby and toddler caregivers after our storytime for a cup of coffee or tea and some conversation. Storytime attendance is... more
Join fellow baby and toddler caregivers after our storytime for a cup of coffee or tea and some conversation. Storytime attendance is not required.

Wed, Feb 28, 1:00pm - 3:00pm
St. John - Large Meeting Room
Do you enjoy crafting? Do you wish you had friendly people to work with on those crafts? Bring your current project and enjoy the... more
Do you enjoy crafting? Do you wish you had friendly people to work with on those crafts? Bring your current project and enjoy the company every Wednesday! All crafts are welcome.

Wed, Feb 28, 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Cedar Lake - Meeting Room A
Homeschool children are invited to attend a program exploring a STEAM topic each session. The only requirement is imagination and... more
Homeschool children are invited to attend a program exploring a STEAM topic each session. The only requirement is imagination and registration!
This event is full

Wed, Feb 28, 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Lake Station-New Chicago - Large Meeting Room
Come hang out at the library and play the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii and board games! We provide the games...you bring your friends... more
Come hang out at the library and play the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii and board games! We provide the games...you bring your friends to join in on the fun! Ages 12-18.

Wed, Feb 28, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Hobart - Computer Area
Register for this program to receive individualized instruction in basic computer skills.
This event is full

Wed, Feb 28, 4:30pm - 6:30pm
Cedar Lake - Cedar Lake Public Tables
Join us and work on your crafts at the library! Bring yarn and a size H crochet hook or size 7 knitting needles and cotton yarn - or... more
Join us and work on your crafts at the library! Bring yarn and a size H crochet hook or size 7 knitting needles and cotton yarn - or bring along a project you're already working on!

Wed, Feb 28, 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Merrillville - Meeting Room A
Assist librarians to make the library your space. Improve activities and programs and earn volunteer hours!

Wed, Feb 28, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
St. John - Large Meeting Room
Teens will enjoy snacks while making crafts of their choice with a variety of supplies! Ages 12-18. Registration required.

Thu, Feb 29, 10:30am - 12:30pm
Griffith-Calumet Twp - Meeting Room
Like to cross-stitch, knit, crochet, or do any other craft? Every Thursday, bring and work on your own project while enjoying the... more
Like to cross-stitch, knit, crochet, or do any other craft? Every Thursday, bring and work on your own project while enjoying the company of others.

Thu, Feb 29, 10:30am - 12:00pm
Munster - Large Meeting Room
Author and artist Samuel Love will lead a free 6 week workshop series about developing and executing oral history projects. This... more
Author and artist Samuel Love will lead a free 6 week workshop series about developing and executing oral history projects. This workshop series is designed for ages 65+ but is open to all.

Thu, Feb 29, 11:00am - 12:00pm
Merrillville - Small Group Room #2
Are you having laptop, smartphone, or tablet issues? Book this one-hour session to receive individualized assistance with your... more
Are you having laptop, smartphone, or tablet issues? Book this one-hour session to receive individualized assistance with your technology problems. Patron must bring their device with them.
This event is full

Thu, Feb 29, 11:15am - 12:30pm
Dyer-Schererville - Meeting Room Whole (A & B)
The Between the Lines Book Club reads "Greenwich Park" by Katherine Faulkner. Books for this discussion can be picked up at the... more
The Between the Lines Book Club reads "Greenwich Park" by Katherine Faulkner. Books for this discussion can be picked up at the Dyer-Schererville branch a month prior to the event.

Thu, Feb 29, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Dyer-Schererville - Meeting Room Whole (A & B)
Celebrate the extra day by enjoying this hilarious Irish romantic comedy! PG 1hr 40 min.

Thu, Feb 29, 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Merrillville - Meeting Room B,Meeting Room C,Meeting Room D
English Classes are for participants who are learning English as a second language. Different levels are available. Classes are free.

Sat, Mar 02, 9:30am - 12:30pm
Hobart - Large Meeting Room
Join us with your current projects (knitting, crochet, cross-stitch, embroidery, etc.) to chat and create! Bring your own supplies, and... more
Join us with your current projects (knitting, crochet, cross-stitch, embroidery, etc.) to chat and create! Bring your own supplies, and other attendees would be happy to instruct on crochet as needed.

Sat, Mar 02, 10:00am - 1:00pm
Dyer-Schererville - Meeting Room Whole (A & B)
Join us and create a unique painting with assistance from local artist Mary Stang-Helm. Cash fee of $25 paid at time of event covers all... more
Join us and create a unique painting with assistance from local artist Mary Stang-Helm. Cash fee of $25 paid at time of event covers all materials. Class begins promptly at 10:00 a.m.

Sat, Mar 02, 10:00am - 11:00am
Merrillville - Meeting Room A
Curious minds of all ages will learn how to view the April 8th solar eclipse safely and receive a pair of viewing glasses. Please... more
Curious minds of all ages will learn how to view the April 8th solar eclipse safely and receive a pair of viewing glasses. Please register everyone who will be attending.

Sat, Mar 02, 10:00am - 10:30am
St. John - Children's Program Room
Stories, fingerplays, music, related activities and a craft are all included this this storytime for children and their family members.

Sat, Mar 02, 10:00am - 11:00am
Munster - Large Meeting Room
Each session includes a series of asanas (postures) & sequences of pranayam (breathing exercises) for good health. Please bring your own... more
Each session includes a series of asanas (postures) & sequences of pranayam (breathing exercises) for good health. Please bring your own mat to class.

Sat, Mar 02, 11:00am - 12:00pm
Highland - Children's Programming Room
In this program participants will get the opportunity to read to a therapy dog. Ages 6-11. Registration is required.

Sat, Mar 02, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Merrillville - Meeting Room B
Like board games? So do we! Come on in and join us for a fun-filled game session. We provide the games...you provide the energy!

Sat, Mar 02, 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Lake Station-New Chicago - Large Meeting Room
Join us at the library to play Bingo! All ages are welcome to play. Winners will be able to choose from a variety of small prizes.