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Libraries need a rating system for children

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Hi, I am a concerned parent and daycare provider here in Detroit Lakes. I wanted to share my story for two reasons. One, to let other parents know what is or can happen at our public libraries and two, to hopefully to get some policies to change. My step daughter recently came home from the library with the NR movie “Ted”! My daughter is 10! When I asked how she obtained this movie, she said that she got it from the New York Mills Library. I was in awe!

I called the library to find out that as soon as a parent signs their child’s library card they have full range access to the library. They can check out whatever the library has to offer. The librarian knew that my child was only 10. She didn’t try to persuade her to put the movie back, nor call us (parents). She just let her rent it.

When I called the next day to see if there was any way I could stop this from happening, she said that they had no way of censoring what the children rented. We could, however put a note on her card saying that she could only rent things that were under a certain rating.

Now I am not sure of how many parents even realize this, but your child could be renting whatever they want or reading whatever they want from the library unless you are censoring them. We sure didn’t.

You need to put a rating on their card. You need to write to your legislators or whoever is in power to change these library rules so that our young children don’t freely watch and read whatever they choose. Especially in days like today when they go home alone for hours before parents can get home.

We put ratings on things for a reason. We don’t let children into movie theaters for a reason. Why on earth would we let them rent these movies from our public libraries? It takes a community to raise our children, do not fail them! — Barb Gilbert, Detroit Lakes

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