Friday, January 23, 2009

Books in danger!

I was already horrified that the new Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act that goes into effect February 10 is threatening the ability of people to buy or sell children's products through consignment stores, charity stores, small businesses, and even eBay or garage sales. I read that whole chains of children's consignment stores might have to close their doors, and that charities like Goodwill could have to throw away every children's item they have in their stores, just because the cost of testing them for lead (which most clothing items, etc., are very unlikely to have) would be too high! This is especially problematic at a time when many people really need the cost savings of shopping for used products (or the income from selling their old products), and when it would be environmentally crazy to fill our landfills with perfectly good, usable toys and clothing.

Now I have found out that children's books may be affected, too--even books already in libraries and schools! This link is from the ALA so it doesn't mention textbooks, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were affected as well. I suspect it could also affect literacy charities that give gently used books to needy children.

Please read the following link...let's try to change this now!

ALA Action Alert - Save our children's libraries and books!

Here is a Publisher's Weekly article about it, also, and a Forbes article about the whole ridiculous regulation and how it will end up hurting the little companies and individuals. (Some are even calling February 10 National Bankruptcy Day.)

This is just crazy. Yes, a few toys, mostly imported from China, were recalled recently because of lead levels, but has there really a problem with children getting lead poisoning from books?! I have never heard of such, while the lack of access to books would be a real, definite, and major problem that would not be theoretical at all! (Besides, it's not like people are going to get rid of all the old toys, children's clothes, and books in their homes--especially now that there would be nowhere to donate them that they wouldn't have to be thrown out--so the kids won't really be "safer" if libraries stop having books for them!)


Anonymous said...

I actually called the # and left a message. But shouldn't there be an address we can email or website with a mass petition? Do you know of anything like this?

Thanks for sharing.

Lindsey S

Alison said...

I found out there is also an online contact form you can use: