Anyone under 18 will have to get a new library card to check out a book in the Cass County Library system starting Tuesday. A new set of guidelines from the Secretary of State’s office is mandating changes to give parents some control over content their children may be exposed to.
The program, “Library Certification for the Protection of Minors” officially went into effect on May 18, but the Cass County system was given until July 31 to reach full compliance. The new cards are just one step in the compliance plan.
According to Robin Hudson, the system’s assistant director, May 30 was the day for the change because it gave time for the new cards to be sent to all of the branches and it is the day of the sign ups for the Summer Library Program.
“It is usually a pretty busy day for us so we thought it was a good opportunity to start,” Hudson said.
The cards will look the same as currently in use, but will contain the following information on the back:
“As the parent/legal guardian of my child, I grant access to the full collections of Cass County Public Library, including online materials. Library staff do not supervise children. Library staff do not know what you consider appropriate for your child and cannot be responsible for their selections. If you do not agree to full access to the collections, your child will not be issued a card. Parents/guardians may then check out items for their children on their cards. I am responsible for payment of all fines for materials borrowed on this card.”
Cards for patrons under 18, no matter when issued will be void Tuesday morning. Adult cards will not be affected.