Did Umbridge Take Over?

Feb 15, 2009

Posted by: Doris


Umbridge Excuse me for, well thinking, but since when did we (as a society) allow our government officials the ability to limit a child’s right to use a library? Certainly not here, not in the United States of America.

from the ALA …..

The American Library Association (ALA) released a letter to Congress
yesterday, urging members to take action against a recent opinion
ruling released from the General Counsel of the Consumer Product Safety
Commission (CPSC) that would require public, school, academic an
museum libraries to either remove all their books or ban all children
under 12 from visiting the facilities, beginning on February 10.

The complete article can be found here.

Now, the premise here is that kids might put these books in their mouths and the books might have lead based products on them. Since books are not considered toys they are not regulated and the books could be contaminated.

While I know that babies put everything in their mouths, is this really the right thing to do? Can’t we just trust the smallest children’s parents to watch over them? Most older children have stopped the “oral fixation” stage before elementary school, and even if they’ve not stopped it, can’t we trust them to keep the books out of their mouths?

Of course my thought now is, can lead be found in the books my children read?

Here’s the real truth. CPSIA’s overview of the book assembly process. A snippet of the summary of the text…

style=”text-align: center; font-family: Times New Roman;”>Upon quick review, the reader will note that the lead levels documented
for each book component in these attachments are significantly below
even the 100ppm level established by the CPSC for compliance three
years from this date. Additionally, the results from Phthalate testing
among the various book components are “not detectable” and statements
from suppliers confirm that phthalates are not used in the
manufacturing process of the book components.

From the great Winston Churchill …

“You see these dictators on their pedestals, surrounded by the
bayonets of their soldiers and the truncheons of their police. Yet
in their hearts there is unspoken – unspeakable! – fear. They are
afraid of words and thoughts! Words spoken abroad, thoughts stirring
at home, all the more powerful because they are forbidden. These
terrify them. A little mouse – a little tiny mouse! – of thought
appears in the room, and even the mightiest potentates are thrown
into panic.”

style=”text-align: center; “>
Winston Churchill

If you live in the United States, please send OWLS to your legislature asking them to do something about this. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

I’ll keep checking and update this post with any news on this topic.


Edited to Add:
You’ll find the CSPC’s report here. This is a pdf file, so you’ll have to download it to read it. The section you are looking for is TITLE I”CHILDREN’S PRODUCT SAFETY : SEC. 101. CHILDREN’S PRODUCTS CONTAINING LEAD; LEAD PAINT RULE.
15 USC 1278a.

Edited to Add Again: (2/16)

Thanks so much for the emails, I’ve loved hearing from you guys. I’m also aware that our comment function isn’t allowing you to read comments on page two of the blog comments. I’ve let Alex know and hopefully it will be back to working soon. I can read your comments in our admin section.

I also randomly tested books today, no lead to be found. I spoke to several librarians about this issue and my state and national representatives.

The Harry Potter Alliance also posted on this topic today. (You can see their post here) Thanks Andrew for posting about this and for just being the awesome person that you are.

Edited to Add: (2/17)

You can contact the CPSC here. Please email them and ask them to make an exception to the lead ban for books and textbooks.

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