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Weekly News Digest

July 26, 2022 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITI’s Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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Some Oklahoma Librarians Will Be Penalized for Even Mentioning Abortion

Claire Woodcock writes the following for Motherboard, Vice’s technology section:

Library workers across Oklahoma’s Metropolitan Library System (MLS) were shocked … after receiving instructions to avoid using the word ‘abortion’ and not to help patrons locate abortion-related information on either library computers or their own devices. Workers were warned that they could be held legally liable and face penalties under the state’s abortion laws.

‘If a staff member gives any information on how to obtain an abortion, then that person may be found personally liable and will also make MLS liable,’ says a memo, which was obtained by Motherboard after being emailed to workers at one library branch in the Oklahoma City area. ‘Civil penalties include a $10,000 fine plus jail time and the staff member will lose their job due to being informed by MLS and disregarding the warning.’ …

It’s safe to assume the conversations happening at MLS in Oklahoma are also happening within library systems in other states with abortion restrictions. Library workers worry this forces information professionals across the country to choose between breaking the law and violating their duty as public servants. The library worker from MLS anticipates that despite this, librarians are going to help patrons procure reliable abortion information. 

For more information, read the article.

Send correspondence concerning the Weekly News Digest to NewsBreaks Editor Brandi Scardilli

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