Legislature(2003 - 2004)

05/10/2004 11:25 AM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SB 269 - PARENT ACCESS TO CHILD'S LIBRARY RECORDS                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 0112                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE announced that the  committee would consider CS FOR                                                               
SENATE BILL NO.  269(CRA), "An Act relating to  access to library                                                               
records, including access to the library  records of a child by a                                                               
parent or guardian."   [In members' packets was  a proposed House                                                               
committee  substitute  (HCS)  for SB  269,  Version  23-LS1457\S,                                                               
Mischel, 5/10/04; before the committee was CSSB 269(CRA).]                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 0163                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR LYDA  GREEN, Alaska  State Legislature,  sponsor, relayed                                                               
that over the interim last  year, she'd [been approached by] some                                                               
parents  in her  district  who'd been  contacted  by the  library                                                               
regarding  some  books  that  their  children  had  requested  or                                                               
checked  out.   One mother,  upon calling  the library  back, was                                                               
informed by  the library that it  would not release the  names of                                                               
the  books  in  question  to her,  the  parent,  because  library                                                               
records are confidential.  In the  other case, the library left a                                                               
message  that  some  books  were overdue,  and  when  the  mother                                                               
contacted the library  to find out which books  were overdue, she                                                               
was told that that information  was confidential and could not be                                                               
released to  her.  Senator  Green remarked  that one child  was 7                                                               
years old and the other was 8 years old.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN  remarked that even though  parents are responsible                                                               
for all aspects  of their children's lives,  current law provides                                                               
that library records are confidential.   She noted, however, that                                                               
current  law also  provides that  all  school-related records  of                                                               
children,  including library  records, be  disclosed to  parents,                                                               
and offered  her belief  that the same  standard should  apply to                                                               
public libraries.   She opined that parents do have  the right to                                                               
get the information in their  children's library records, whether                                                               
school  library  records  or public  library  records,  and  that                                                               
libraries  should not  be allowed  to  withhold that  information                                                               
from parents.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN said that SB 269  will change current law such that                                                               
all library  records of  children could  be released  to parents.                                                               
She  noted  that  under  the  bill, the  library  records  of  an                                                               
emancipated minor  would not be  released - since  an emancipated                                                               
minor  would  be treated  as  an  adult  - nor  would  university                                                               
library  records   of  children  enrolled  in   a  university  be                                                               
released.    She   indicated  that  federal  law   -  the  Family                                                               
Educational  Rights  Privacy  Act  ("FERPA") -  says  all  school                                                               
records  should  be accessible  to  parents,  and reiterated  her                                                               
belief  that  parents  should have  access  to  their  children's                                                               
library records,  even if  they are  not school  library records,                                                               
since  parents are  ultimately responsible  for any  action their                                                               
children  take while  in  the  library or  for  any damage  their                                                               
children do to library materials.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 0587                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GREEN noted  that some  libraries  have a  form to  that                                                               
effect  which parents  must fill  out before  their children  are                                                               
issued   a  library   card.     She  offered   her  belief   that                                                               
notwithstanding the fact that  parents are ultimately responsible                                                               
for their  children's actions, [some] libraries  prohibit parents                                                               
from picking up a library book  on behalf of their children.  She                                                               
relayed that some have suggested  that children should give their                                                               
parents  [written] permission  to  pick up  their library  books;                                                               
however, children just aren't inclined  to give parents that kind                                                               
of permission, she opined.  With  regard to the argument [that SB
269] will  violate children's right  to privacy, she  offered her                                                               
belief that those rights don't extend to children.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN  posited that passage  of SB 269 will  not increase                                                               
librarians'  workload,  and  relayed  that  one  state  librarian                                                               
offered  testimony in  a  prior committee  that  he had  released                                                               
information  regarding when  a child's  library book  was due  or                                                               
regarding how  much money  was owed.   This illustrates  that the                                                               
current law  is not  being applied evenly  across the  state, she                                                               
suggested; however, regardless of  any inconsistency in how state                                                               
law  is applied,  the issue  is really  one of  whether, by  law,                                                               
parents  have the  right to  the information  contained in  their                                                               
children's library records.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   GREEN,  in   response   to  a   comment,  offered   her                                                               
understanding  that   Section  1  of  the   bill  addresses  what                                                               
information   in  a   person's  library   record  must   be  kept                                                               
confidential,  and  provides  an  exemption for  the  records  of                                                               
children under 18 years of age.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE  asked why  proposed  subsection  (a) deletes  the                                                               
words, "This section applies to  libraries operated by the state,                                                               
a municipality, or  a public school, including  the University of                                                               
Alaska.".                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN,  in response,  indicated that  proposed subsection                                                               
(b)  would  delete the  words,  "public  elementary or  secondary                                                               
schools"  as  they  pertain  to   libraries,  and  that  proposed                                                               
subsection (c) would  insert the words, "This  section applies to                                                               
libraries  operated by  the state,  a municipality,  or a  public                                                               
school,  including the  University  of Alaska,  and  by a  public                                                               
library nonprofit corporation".                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 0799                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE  surmised that  this  change  adds an  element  of                                                               
segregation  to  what  types of  libraries  the  restriction  and                                                               
exemption apply to.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GREEN noted  that proposed  subsection (b)  would change                                                               
current  law  such that  it  would  say,  "Records of  a  library                                                               
identifying a child under 18 yeas  of age shall be made available                                                               
on request to  a parent or guardian of that  child".  In response                                                               
to  comments,  she offered  her  belief  that continuing  federal                                                               
education  funding is  dependant on  the words,  "child under  18                                                               
yeas of age" being part of statute.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE  asked whether  other  states  have changed  their                                                               
statutory language to say, "child under  18 yeas of age" in order                                                               
to comply with FERPA.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GREEN  said  she  did  not know.    She  mentioned  that                                                               
included in  members' packets is  a handout detailing  what other                                                               
states  are  doing  with  regard to  the  privacy  of  children's                                                               
library  records:   13  states  allow  parental access  to  their                                                               
children's library  records - 5 states  specifically say "school"                                                               
library, 8  states specifically say  "public" library;  14 states                                                               
specifically  provide   for  students'  library  records   to  be                                                               
private;  and  23 states  have  no  laws specifically  addressing                                                               
children,  but   provide  for  public   library  records   to  be                                                               
confidential.   She also offered  her understanding that  in four                                                               
of the  latter type of  states, there have been  lawsuits wherein                                                               
the courts  have found for  the parents regarding their  right to                                                               
their children's library records.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE   asked  Senator  Green  whether   she  has  given                                                               
consideration  to  how  the  bill  will  interact  with  Alaska's                                                               
specific constitutional right to privacy.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GREEN reiterated  her  belief  that that  constitutional                                                               
right  to privacy  does not  extend to  minors, and  relayed that                                                               
there  was  discussion  of  this   issue  in  the  House  Health,                                                               
Education and Social Services Standing  Committee.  She said that                                                               
she is  annoyed that  a parent  is currently  unable to  find out                                                               
when a child's library  book is due and is unable  to pick up the                                                               
child's library books.   She relayed that she has  been told that                                                               
if she brings in her  grandchildren's library cards, for example,                                                               
that she can  access the information; she indicated  that this is                                                               
an unacceptable solution.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG mentioned  that  according  to a  legal                                                               
opinion  he'd  received  from   Legislative  Legal  and  Research                                                               
Services,  the proposed  law  has a  reasonable  chance of  being                                                               
upheld,  but if  the  reference  to the  age  of  the child  were                                                               
lowered, it would have a better chance.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1267                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ART WEEKS, Director,  Anchorage Municipal Libraries, Municipality                                                               
of Anchorage (MOA), surmised that  Senator Green is attempting to                                                               
address  the  issue  of  the  parent's  financial  responsibility                                                               
regarding overdue or damaged library  materials.  He pointed out,                                                               
however, that at Anchorage  Municipal Libraries, that information                                                               
is  disclosed to  parents, though  not information  regarding the                                                               
child's  reading record.    He  also pointed  out  that the  bill                                                               
wouldn't address  the situation she  used as an example,  that of                                                               
being a  grandparent and  wanting to  find out  information about                                                               
her  grandchildren's  library  records,  because  the  bill  only                                                               
applies to parents  and guardians, not grandparents.   He offered                                                               
the  belief that  the proposed  legislation  will compromise  the                                                               
safety of children.  He elaborated:                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     At  the  very  young age,  toddler  through  elementary                                                                    
     [school] years,  we feel  the parent  should be  at the                                                                    
     library with the child anyway  for reasons of safety as                                                                    
     well as  guiding their reading  interests.   We're very                                                                    
     disturbed about  the idea  that adolescents  would have                                                                    
     their reader  records disclosed to  parents, especially                                                                    
     for  adolescents that  may be  in  unsafe situations  -                                                                    
     [such as  living with]  abusive parents  or caretakers,                                                                    
     [or  being  exposed  to]  alcoholism  -  maybe  they're                                                                    
     looking into a future  vocation that's meeting parental                                                                    
     disapproval, or  even [have] questions about  their own                                                                    
     sexuality.  We  are very concerned about  the safety of                                                                    
     teens, and  we feel that  this might be  something that                                                                    
     would  compromise that,  especially  in  a state  where                                                                    
     teen suicide is so great. ...                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     The  other  point I  wanted  to  make was  that  unlike                                                                    
     schools, we  do not keep  ... records of  who custodial                                                                    
     parents are, so we wouldn't  know who we were divulging                                                                    
     information to.  ... We don't  know whether  the parent                                                                    
     is  custodial   [or]  has  a  restraining   order,  the                                                                    
     variation in  last names would  be confusing,  and [we]                                                                    
     ... just  don't want  to be able  to disclose  a reader                                                                    
     record that  not only lists  books that are  being read                                                                    
     but [also contains  the] address of the child.   So for                                                                    
     that  reason  we  feel that  the  privacy  of  children                                                                    
     should be  maintained as stated  in the  [Alaska State]                                                                    
     Constitution,  that  there's  not really  a  compelling                                                                    
     reason to abridge  that guarantee that is  given in the                                                                    
     Alaska [State] Constitution.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. WEEKS, in  conclusion, suggested that the bill  be amended to                                                               
just   address   that   particular  situation   where   financial                                                               
responsibility kicks in.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1428                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA asked for a sense  of how many minors use the                                                               
Anchorage   Municipal  Libraries   without   their  parents   [in                                                               
attendance].                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. WEEKS  remarked that  that would  be difficult  to determine.                                                               
He added:                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     There's a  certain age where  you start  navigating the                                                                    
     world on  your own;  ... certainly  in the  teen years,                                                                    
     starting around  12-13, you start  to ...  see children                                                                    
     at  the library  without  being attended  by an  adult.                                                                    
     Under  that  age,  [there  are]   very  few.    At  the                                                                    
     Anchorage Municipal Libraries,  we certainly discourage                                                                    
     unattended children.  You do  have some drop-offs after                                                                    
     school,  which  is  something  we  try  to  discourage;                                                                    
     libraries are  not necessarily a safe  place because we                                                                    
     are  an institution  that  allows  anybody through  the                                                                    
     door  and our  ability  to supervise  everybody in  the                                                                    
     library is not  that good.  So we  do encourage parents                                                                    
     with  younger   children  to  accompany  them   to  the                                                                    
     library. ...                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GRUENBERG,   on   the  issue   of   the   bill's                                                               
constitutionality,  asked   whether  the   courts  would   use  a                                                               
balancing test or a "strict scrutiny" analysis.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. WEEKS said he didn't know.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  characterized  his  query  as  a  core                                                               
question.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1563                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MARY  RASMUSSEN,   Member,  Library  Advisory   Board,  Anchorage                                                               
Municipal  Libraries, Municipality  of  Anchorage (MOA),  relayed                                                               
that the Library Advisory Board  recommended the following to the                                                               
Anchorage Assembly:                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     By   unanimous  vote,   the   Library  Advisory   Board                                                                    
     recommended that  the assembly oppose Senate  Bill 269.                                                                    
     As the bill is written,  it is both harmful to children                                                                    
     and is  vague and overly  broad in scope.   The Library                                                                    
     Advisory  Board cites  the  following  reasons for  its                                                                    
     conclusions.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     One,  it  will be  unduly  burdensome  on libraries  to                                                                    
     determine who  is a  parent who might  have a  right of                                                                    
     access  to  a  child's  records.    Librarians,  unlike                                                                    
     educators,  have  no   established  relationships  with                                                                    
     parents,  and therefore  have no  records  to know  the                                                                    
     custodianship.  Library borrowing  by minor children in                                                                    
     Anchorage  is  offered   by  both  Anchorage  Municipal                                                                    
     Libraries  and  the  (indisc.)  University  of  Alaska.                                                                    
     Unlike  public schools,  neither institution  (indisc.)                                                                    
     information as  to the custodial arrangement  for minor                                                                    
     children or records of parents.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Two, the  amendment potentially compromises  the safety                                                                    
     of  children   by  requiring  disclosure   of  personal                                                                    
     information  on a  library record.   The  disclosure of                                                                    
     the library  record, including home address,  may be at                                                                    
     variance  with  current state  law  on  violence.   The                                                                    
     disclosure  could also  be  in  contravention of  court                                                                    
     restraining orders for noncustodial  parents.  There is                                                                    
     furthermore a  potential for a disclosure  to strangers                                                                    
     posing  as  parents.     That's  exposing  children  to                                                                    
     predators.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Three,   children,   especially   in   the   years   of                                                                    
     adolescence,  should be  able to  investigate sensitive                                                                    
     information  in  a  safe and  secure  environment  that                                                                    
     maximizes the  use of accurate  and scholarly  data and                                                                    
     information.   Librarians  -  like other  professionals                                                                    
     such as  counselors, psychiatrists, police -  respect a                                                                    
     child's  right to  privacy and  do not  release certain                                                                    
     information  to parents  under similar  confidentiality                                                                    
     laws.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Four, the  university library staff, which  do not have                                                                    
     access to records on student  family or age status, may                                                                    
     be  held  liable  if  library  records  were  illegally                                                                    
     disclosed.    Five,  the legislation  places  an  undue                                                                    
     financial  burden   on  many  of   Alaska's  libraries;                                                                    
     disclosure  of  reading  material  for  some  libraries                                                                    
     would require either significant  staff time for a hand                                                                    
     audit  of circulation  records, or  require procurement                                                                    
     of  a costly  automated system  - a  burdensome expense                                                                    
     especially for  smaller libraries in  Bush communities.                                                                    
     Six, the  Library Advisory Board therefore  regards the                                                                    
     legislation  as  an  unfunded mandate  and  financially                                                                    
     (indisc.) the libraries of Alaska.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1694                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. RASMUSSEN said that on a personal level, she'd like to make                                                                 
two points:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     One is that  I think our state has  a wonderful privacy                                                                    
     clause in its constitution, and  I really would hate to                                                                    
     see  the  legislature  taking away  privacy  rights  of                                                                    
     citizens -  including children.   And the  second point                                                                    
     is that I  am a parent and I think  parental rights are                                                                    
     really important,  but I see  this as [a]  chance where                                                                    
     parents can talk  to their children, and  I don't think                                                                    
     the library  and the  librarians should  be put  ... in                                                                    
     the middle.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     And  that's why  I  think it's  really important,  that                                                                    
     this is  an issue of:   if your child is  so young that                                                                    
     they  can't  handle a  library  card,  then maybe  they                                                                    
     should be doing it on  their parent's card; but as they                                                                    
     get older,  this is a  perfect chance, as a  parent, to                                                                    
     let  them develop  responsibility on  their own  and to                                                                    
     teach  them these  things  -  so I  think  it's a  real                                                                    
     positive   situation  for   them;  and   then,  as   an                                                                    
     adolescent,  I reiterate  what Mr.  Weeks said,  that I                                                                    
     think having  access to accurate information  is really                                                                    
     important.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     And if a  parent can't talk to their  child about this,                                                                    
     then  going  in behind  their  back  and getting  their                                                                    
     library record, I  think, is a real  disservice to that                                                                    
     individual.  Thank you for letting me testify.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 1748                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTINE  O'CONNOR, Librarian,  Dillingham Public  Library, City                                                               
of Dillingham,  noted that  she is the  mother of  an 11-year-old                                                               
son and  a 13-year-old daughter.   She said she doesn't  have any                                                               
problem with providing  the parents of small  children with their                                                               
children's library  records, but does  have a couple  of concerns                                                               
with doing the same for adolescent children.  She elaborated:                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     A lot  of the teens  that I see  here do not  come from                                                                    
     caring  homes; their  parents are  indifferent or  even                                                                    
     harmful to these young adults  that use my library, and                                                                    
     these are teens I'm worried  will be harmed by the bill                                                                    
     [as  it's]  currently written.    Teens  that lose  the                                                                    
     privacy of their library use  will [also be] losing the                                                                    
     security of  knowing they can  come to the  library for                                                                    
     safe access  to information.   And this  is information                                                                    
     that can be life changing for them.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     There are  two topics  that especially concern  me when                                                                    
     we  talk about  taking privacy  away from  teens.   The                                                                    
     first is  health.  On  several occasions  teenage girls                                                                    
     have brought me  stacks of books on  pregnancy, [and] I                                                                    
     check them out.   Most of the time I  know the teen and                                                                    
     I  also  know  the  parents, and  each  time  this  has                                                                    
     happened ...  I realized  that this young  girl doesn't                                                                    
     have help  from her parents  to deal with  a pregnancy,                                                                    
     but at least she's looking  for information, and I want                                                                    
     that to be  available to her.  There  are other sources                                                                    
     of  health information  for teens  here in  Dillingham,                                                                    
     but   we're  very   small;   a   teen  needing   health                                                                    
     information has  to be willing to  be exposed publicly.                                                                    
     [In]  visiting  the  hospital   or  the  public  health                                                                    
     center, those  records are  private, but  Dillingham is                                                                    
     too  small to  allow  a  visit to  be  unnoticed.   The                                                                    
     library is  the only  place to get  private information                                                                    
     like that.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1867                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     The  second topic  I have  concerns about  is religion.                                                                    
     About  two  years  ago,  a teenage  girl  asked  me  to                                                                    
     interlibrary  loan  her  some  books  about  a  certain                                                                    
     religion; she specifically asked  me not to tell anyone                                                                    
     because she said  she was in trouble  for reading about                                                                    
     this topic.  I was able  to assure her that her library                                                                    
     records were private and I  would not tell anyone.  I'm                                                                    
     confident that if I'd told  her that her parents have a                                                                    
     right to see  her borrowing record, she  would not have                                                                    
     ... borrowed these books.   And I think that would just                                                                    
     be  a shame;  I  would  hate to  tell  a  teen in  that                                                                    
     position  that, "Oh,  if your  parents ask,  I have  to                                                                    
     say."  And this girl was probably 16 at the time.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     I'm hoping  that this  bill can  be amended  to protect                                                                    
     teens.   I  ask that  you please  remember these  young                                                                    
     adults that  need information they  can't get  at home,                                                                    
     and  that  you'll  just  maintain  the  sanctuary  that                                                                    
     public  libraries are  providing  for  these kids.  ...                                                                    
     Thank you ... for allowing me to testify.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. O'CONNOR, in response to a question regarding the girls                                                                     
seeking information about pregnancy, said that some of the books                                                                
checked out were  Dr. Sears's The Baby Book, What  to Expect When                                                           
You're  Expecting -  essentially prenatal-care  books.   She said                                                             
she tries to  respect the girls' privacy as much  as possible and                                                               
doesn't treat  them any  differently than  if they  were checking                                                               
out a paperback.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1977                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ANDREE McLEOD said she  is a parent of a 21-year  old, and as far                                                               
as she  is concerned, he still  doesn't have a right  to privacy.                                                               
She said  she is in  total favor of SB  269 and hopes  it becomes                                                               
law.   She thanked  the sponsor  for taking  the time  to address                                                               
this issue, which she characterized  as acrimonious public policy                                                               
that is  adversarial to parents  and guardians of  children under                                                               
the  age  of  18.   She  relayed  that  she  is appalled  at  the                                                               
situations that  engendered the bill,  and asked:  "What  kind of                                                               
system do  we have  where public  employees of  public libraries,                                                               
paid  for  with public  funds,  would  be permitted  to  withhold                                                               
information from  parents about  their minor  children?   Why are                                                               
parents  not given  information that  is rightfully  theirs about                                                               
their children?  She suggested that  this is evidence that a much                                                               
deeper problem  exists wherein  librarians are  allowed to  do as                                                               
they will without censure.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. McLEOD  remarked that the  Legislature is  constantly passing                                                               
bills  making  parents  more  responsible  for  their  children's                                                               
behaviors;   public  policy   providing  incentives   for  better                                                               
parenting is  becoming more  exact and more  detailed.   In turn,                                                               
parents  have moral  obligations  to raise  their children  well.                                                               
Alongside those  obligations are parental rights,  including, she                                                               
opined,  having  any  and all  information  pertaining  to  their                                                               
children in  order to mitigate  their children's  behavior should                                                               
it  be less  than  good.   She contended  that  a child's  public                                                               
library record  is just  such information, even  if it  does show                                                               
that a child is checking out books regarding pregnancy.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. McLEOD  expressed doubt  about the  veracity of  the examples                                                               
given  by those  opposed to  the bill,  and questioned  how often                                                               
such  situations   really  occur.     Parents  are   legally  and                                                               
completely responsible  for their  children until they  reach the                                                               
age  of 18.   At  the very  least, parents  do not  need publicly                                                               
funded  librarians encroaching  on  their  inherent and  absolute                                                               
parental  rights.    She  asked  that [SB  269]  be  passed  from                                                               
committee,  offering her  belief  that it  will protect  parental                                                               
rights,  which take  in a  set of  obligations, responsibilities,                                                               
and liabilities.   When  librarians violate  those rights  by not                                                               
releasing  children's public  library  records  to parents,  they                                                               
should be reproached and held accountable for dangerously                                                                       
shattering the increasingly fragile trust between families and                                                                  
publicly funded employees and institutions, she concluded.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 2082                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BARBARA  BERG,  Director,  Juneau   Public  Libraries,  City  and                                                               
Borough  of Juneau;  Member, Alaska  Library Association  (AkLA),                                                               
relayed that she would be speaking as  a member of the AkLA, as a                                                               
concerned  professional, and  as the  mother of  two grown  sons.                                                               
She said:                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     I  would  echo  what   both  Art  Weeks  and  Christine                                                                    
     O'Connor  have  said  about  this bill.    It  takes  a                                                                    
     certain amount of courage for  a young teen to approach                                                                    
     a  librarian  on any  controversial  topic  even if  it                                                                    
     doesn't have  personal implications for them.   Part of                                                                    
     what we are  in the business of doing  is encouraging a                                                                    
     spirit  of free  inquiry in  support of  [a] democratic                                                                    
     society, in the public library.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     So often  we lose touch with  teens; we do a  real good                                                                    
     job with  young kids and  we do  a good job  with adult                                                                    
     readers, but  we lose  touch with  teens in  their teen                                                                    
     years.   And a  child might  be asking  for information                                                                    
     that's controversial  but ... doesn't  necessarily have                                                                    
     personal implications.  Say  they were researching AIDS                                                                    
     [acquired immunodeficiency syndrome]  or something, but                                                                    
     if they thought  that having the books  out would imply                                                                    
     scrutiny  by   their  parents  that  they   were  doing                                                                    
     something  wrong, they  might  not take  that step  and                                                                    
     approach that inquiry. ...                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     I want to  talk about some of the  procedural ways that                                                                    
     we  deal with  this at  the Juneau  Public [Libraries].                                                                    
     We don't  release the registration information  or what                                                                    
     a person  has checked out  without the consent  of that                                                                    
     individual.   The  consent can  be given  if the  child                                                                    
     writes a  note that  says ... the  parent "may  pick up                                                                    
     these  books for  me," or  if the  parent comes  in and                                                                    
     knows  what   those  titles  are,   ...  [or]   are  in                                                                    
     possession of  the child's library  card -  [then] they                                                                    
     can  pick that  material up.   Many  parents choose  to                                                                    
     retain  their  children's  library cards,  and  thereby                                                                    
     they have  control and they know  what their children's                                                                    
     library   record  is   at  anytime;   that's  perfectly                                                                    
     acceptable to us. ...                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. BERG continued:                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     And we  have always considered that  when the materials                                                                    
     go overdue, or  are lost, that the parent  then has the                                                                    
     right  to know  that  information.   For  one thing,  a                                                                    
     notice has  gone home,  so they  already have  seen the                                                                    
     notice  come in  the  mail as  the  guardian who  signs                                                                    
     [the] child's  library card;  they already  receive the                                                                    
     notice  when the  material goes  lost  or missing  it's                                                                    
     been so long overdue.  So  the right of privacy is gone                                                                    
     the  minute the  overdue  collection  notice goes  out.                                                                    
     And the same applies for  ... the spouse:  [he/she] can                                                                    
     pick up a book for a  spouse if they know what the item                                                                    
     is - if  they come and say [his/her  spouse] "has asked                                                                    
     me to pick up this item."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 2212                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     But what  we don't do is  read out a long  list of what                                                                    
     people have  on hold  over the phone.   For  one thing,                                                                    
     the phone  contact is very,  very problematic,  to know                                                                    
     if the  person you're  talking to at  the other  end of                                                                    
     the line is actually a person  who has any right to the                                                                    
     information at  all.  And  ... I remain  very concerned                                                                    
     that the staff at the front  desk, who may be a trained                                                                    
     librarian or may be a  clerk who is there part-time ...                                                                    
     a few days a week, is  going to be put in the decision-                                                                    
     making position  of having to  decide if the  person on                                                                    
     the  other side  of the  desk actually  has a  right to                                                                    
     that information or not. ...                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     And  I also  want to  say -  as I  mentioned -  I'm the                                                                    
     mother  of two  grown sons,  and I  always tried  to be                                                                    
     involved in their learning and  their reading life, and                                                                    
     had  open  discussions with  them,  and  didn't try  to                                                                    
     restrict what they  read, and they shared  with me what                                                                    
     they were  doing.  In  fact, at  [ages] 30 and  26 they                                                                    
     still  share with  me most  of what  they're doing  and                                                                    
     their major life decisions.   And I think that's a tack                                                                    
     that caring parents should take,  is work with them and                                                                    
     keep the channels of communication  open, and they will                                                                    
     continue to  communicate with  you their  entire lives.                                                                    
     ...                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLM surmised, then, that Ms. Berg's testimony is                                                                
that the child's right of privacy eclipses the right of parents,                                                                
and paraphrased some  of Ms. Berg's comments  regarding notice of                                                               
overdue/lost materials.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BERG reiterated  that by  the time  the money  is owed,  the                                                               
notice has  already been  sent to  the person  who signed  as the                                                               
child's guardian,  the person  who has  agreed to  take financial                                                               
responsibility for the materials.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLM offered the analogy  that a runaway child has                                                               
the  right to  run away,  that  the parent  has the  right to  be                                                               
responsible for that child, but  the state doesn't have the right                                                               
to inform  the parent where  the child is.   He said he  finds it                                                               
curious  that [an  entity] has  the  right to  withhold from  the                                                               
parent information critical to parenting.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 04-84, SIDE B                                                                                                            
Number 2374                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. BERG suggested that Representative  Holm's analogy didn't fit                                                               
with the issue at hand.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE acknowledged that the  bill strikes many cords with                                                               
people.   Although the  state expects  parents to  be responsible                                                               
for  their   children's  wellbeing,  healthcare,   and  behavior,                                                               
parents don't automatically  get to know what  their children are                                                               
reading; on  the other hand, when  it comes to teenagers  who are                                                               
in bad  family situations, or  who are suicidal or  depressed, or                                                               
who have questions regarding religion,  vocation, or sexuality, a                                                               
delicate balance  is called for.   Her concern, however,  is that                                                               
with regard  to public libraries,  there is  no way to  know that                                                               
the  person  requesting  a  child's  information  is  really  the                                                               
custodial parent.   How, from a practical standpoint,  can such a                                                               
relationship  be ascertained?   What  if the  person seeking  the                                                               
information is really someone who wanted  to harm the child?  For                                                               
example, what  if it were  an abusive [parent or]  stepparent, or                                                               
what if  it were a  sexual predator?   The question  that remains                                                               
with regard  to the bill is  whether there is some  way to ensure                                                               
that  the  financially  responsible  parties -  the  parents  and                                                               
guardians -  are given information  before situations get  to the                                                               
point of a family owing money for lost or overdue material.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. BERG said  she shares Chair McGuire's  concerns regarding the                                                               
difficulty of  identifying custodial  parents and  guardians, but                                                               
doesn't have any suggestions for a  solution.  She brought up the                                                               
point that  family situations change,  so someone  who originally                                                               
registers a  child for a  library card may  in the future  have a                                                               
restraining order placed against  him/her.  If something terrible                                                               
were to happen  to a child as a result  of the library disclosing                                                               
information,  it   could  put  the  library   in  a  questionable                                                               
situation with  regard to  legal liability.   With regard  to the                                                               
privacy/financial issue,  she remarked,  "we have  always assumed                                                               
that if a child really  wanted to keep their information private,                                                               
they would  take care  to not  lose the  materials, and  get them                                                               
back  to the  library; [also],  parents who  are concerned  about                                                               
children  [having] ...  too  many 'overdues,'  and  we have  seen                                                               
this, ... retain control of the  card - that's ... an option they                                                               
have."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE  asked Ms. Berg whether  she has ever seen  a child                                                               
check out material pertaining to suicide.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. BERG relayed that she doesn't  work at the circulation desk a                                                               
lot and so doesn't know if such is occurring.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 2111                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SAMUELS   remarked  that  if   one's  16-year-old                                                               
daughter  is seeking  information  on sex  or contraception,  one                                                               
would  probably want  her to  have  that information  and not  be                                                               
uncomfortable,  because  of privacy  issues,  with  going to  the                                                               
library  to get  it.   On  the flip  side, if  one's teenager  is                                                               
seeking information  on how to  make a bomb or  acquire automatic                                                               
weapons, one  would probably want to  know about it.   He said he                                                               
is  inclined  to  err  on  the  side  of  the  teenagers  seeking                                                               
information about  sex, AIDS, and  contraception, and  thus allow                                                               
the information to remain private.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOLM  remarked  that   the  Internet  is  another                                                               
resource for those seeking information about certain topics.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BERG said that is good point.  She added:                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     When children ... or young  adults come to the library,                                                                    
     we  hope we  have  a selection  of materials  [wherein]                                                                    
     they are getting  accurate information.  If  they go to                                                                    
     the Internet or ask their  friends, they may or may not                                                                    
     be  getting reliable  information.    And we  certainly                                                                    
     would   rather  have   them   continue   to  get   that                                                                    
     information   from  a   reliable  source   rather  than                                                                    
     something  questionable.    And  if they  come  to  the                                                                    
     library, they  can ask for  assistance and we  can help                                                                    
     them find  accurate information  on the  Internet, too,                                                                    
     or on the public  library's databases that we subscribe                                                                    
     to that have that kind of information (indisc.).                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  remarked that  Internet searches via  a home                                                               
computer  wouldn't be  an option  for  a teenager  in an  abusive                                                               
family situation.   He acknowledged, though, that  there are some                                                               
compelling reasons for giving parents  access to their children's                                                               
library records.  For example,  if a child is seeking information                                                               
about suicide, that could be  something that a parent should know                                                               
about.   He  predicted that  regardless of  what the  legislature                                                               
does, there will be unintended consequences.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BERG remarked  that a  young adult  checking out  a book  on                                                               
suicide  may not  be suicidal,  is instead  perhaps just  doing a                                                               
research  paper  on  the  issue.   Librarians  don't  know  that,                                                               
though,  and  they  don't  ask   patrons  why  they  are  seeking                                                               
information.   "We  provide them  with information,  we try  [to]                                                               
give them the  most accurate information that meets  the scope of                                                               
their  inquiry,  and  so  if  we were  to  overreact,  then,  and                                                               
instantly call the parent and  say, ... 'Your child is suicidal,'                                                               
because they checked  out a book on suicide, that  may or may not                                                               
be the case," she pointed out.   She said she tends to think that                                                               
the  problems  the  bill  engenders  will be  fewer  if  the  age                                                               
referenced in  the bill is lowered  - for example, to  the age of                                                               
14 as  is referenced in  a proposed  amendment - since  those who                                                               
retain their children's library cards  are most often the parents                                                               
of younger  children.   She also pointed  out that  when children                                                               
are unable  to check  materials out of  the library,  they simply                                                               
take those materials.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 1867                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE asked  Senator Green  what  mechanism the  library                                                               
should  use  to  ensure  that  a person  is  really  the  child's                                                               
custodial parent or guardian.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN  opined that the  mechanisms currently used  by the                                                               
Juneau Public Libraries,  such as allowing a person to  pick up a                                                               
book held  for child if  the person knows  the name of  the book,                                                               
are in violation of state  statute.  She suggested that different                                                               
library  systems  across  the  state  use  different  methods  to                                                               
determine exceptions  for nondisclosure  rules.  She  also opined                                                               
that the  likelihood of a  noncustodial parent using  the library                                                               
to gain  access to  a child's  information is  remote.   She also                                                               
suggested that if a child  is concerned about privacy, he/she can                                                               
still access material  at the library and just not  check it out.                                                               
She  expressed disapproval  of the  notion that  a librarian  has                                                               
access to  information about  a child and  yet can  withhold that                                                               
same information from a parent.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GREEN went  on  to note  that  the aforementioned  legal                                                               
opinion acknowledges  that Article I,  Section 22, of  the Alaska                                                               
State  Constitution  directs  the legislature  to  implement  the                                                               
state right of privacy and that  the legislature has done so with                                                               
respect  to   library  borrower's  information  by   enacting  AS                                                               
40.25.140.   Therefore, she opined,  passage of SB 269  would not                                                               
overstep or  threaten the constitutional  right of privacy.   She                                                               
offered her  understanding that the children  responsible for the                                                               
tragedy at Columbine High School  had accessed information at the                                                               
library.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  offered an example  of a child living  in an                                                               
abusive  home  seeking  information  about  parental  or  spousal                                                               
abuse.  He asked Senator Green  whether she is concerned that the                                                               
abusive  parent will  find out  that  the child  is seeking  such                                                               
information at  the library.   He  also questioned  how effective                                                               
the bill will be given that  a child can simply read the material                                                               
in the library  instead of checking it out and  thereby having it                                                               
included in his/her record.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1592                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN replied:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     My issue  has never  been to  intrude upon  the reading                                                                    
     material,  to  set  the  agenda,  or  to  set  aside  a                                                                    
     provision  for determining  what  someone  else may  be                                                                    
     allowed to  read, should  read, or can  read.   That is                                                                    
     nothing to do  with my ... issue here.   Mine is simply                                                                    
     the fact  that some  very frustrated parents  called me                                                                    
     and said, "Can  you believe, I have a 7-  and a 8-year-                                                                    
     old [and] I can't find out  the names of the books that                                                                    
     are overdue," ... [and] "I  can't go pick up my child's                                                                    
     books unless he's with me." ...                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     That speaks to the issue  [that] every library is doing                                                                    
     this inconsistently. ...  Juneau [Public Libraries] has                                                                    
     a system in place, they  also have ... [forms] that are                                                                    
     filled out by the parents ...,  and they do a very good                                                                    
     job, but somehow, in the  process, they have determined                                                                    
     "this" [person]  is the parent  that can sign  the form                                                                    
     for  this  child.    If  they can  do  that,  they  can                                                                    
     determine   who   is   rightfully  eligible   for   the                                                                    
     information. ...                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     I don't see this as a  complicated issue.  It just says                                                                    
     the  current system  is in  place, and  if that  parent                                                                    
     calls and said, "When are  those books due?" ... but --                                                                    
     and I have  to tell you, when my  children were growing                                                                    
     up, I was so proud  they were reading, it never entered                                                                    
     my mind  to be  concerned about  the text  ....   And I                                                                    
     would never go there, and I  don't want that to be part                                                                    
     of the emphasis  on it.  This is the  fact that parents                                                                    
     deserve the  right to have the  information about their                                                                    
     children's  library records  much more  than a  library                                                                    
     does.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  offered his observation that  there are                                                               
four issues  or possible  criteria to  address:   the age  of the                                                               
child; the  subject matter; which standards  for which libraries;                                                               
and who  decides.  He  mentioned that he  has a concern  with the                                                               
federal  government  telling  Alaskan   communities  what  to  do                                                               
regarding these issues.   In that same vein,  however, should the                                                               
state be  doing the  same thing, he  questioned, or  should local                                                               
governments be allowed to develop  their own standards.  With the                                                               
latter,  local parents  could  take a  role  in developing  local                                                               
standards regarding issues of concern  to them.  He surmised that                                                               
the bill proceeds  from the assumption that  the standards should                                                               
by  determined by  the age  of the  child, by  which library  the                                                               
material is  being checked out  of, and by the  state legislature                                                               
making decisions for the entire state.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1287                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA, noting that he  has to leave shortly, opined                                                               
that Senator Green has the right  to have her bill debated on the                                                               
House  floor  and  so  he  isn't against  moving  the  bill  from                                                               
committee regardless of whether the current version is altered.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE  mentioned  that  the  proposed  HCS,  Version  S,                                                               
incorporates the  aforementioned proposed amendment,  which reads                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Delete   subsection  (b)   and  replace   with  a   new                                                                    
     subsection (b) to read:                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
          (b)(1)  Records of a public elementary or                                                                             
     secondary school  library identifying a child  under 18                                                                    
     years of  age shall be  made available on request  to a                                                                    
     parent or guardian of that child.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
             (2)  Records of a library operated by the                                                                          
     state, a  municipality, the University of  Alaska or by                                                                    
     a  public library  nonprofit corporation  identifying a                                                                    
     child under 14 years of  age shall be made available on                                                                    
     request to  a parent or  guardian of that child  or may                                                                    
     be disclosed  upon the written  consent of  the library                                                                    
     user  or when  used to  seek reimbursement  for or  the                                                                    
     return of  lost, stolen,  misplaced or  overdue library                                                                    
     materials.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE said she would  entertain a motion, either to adopt                                                               
CSSB 269(CRA) as the work draft  - and then consider the proposed                                                               
amendment - or to adopt Version S as the work draft.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN, turning to  Representative Gruenberg's question of                                                               
whether   the  state   should  determine   this  issue   for  all                                                               
communities, reiterated that the  legislature has already done so                                                               
by enacting AS 40.25.140 originally.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE  suggested  that the  questions  that  remain  are                                                               
whether there  should be any distinction  between different types                                                               
of  libraries and  whether there  should be  any age  distinction                                                               
and, if so, whether 14 is the right age.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1125                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN recapped current law.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE explained  that the  HCS, Version  S, proposes  to                                                               
keep the section of law  pertaining to confidentiality of library                                                               
records  the  same with  regard  to  the  types of  libraries  it                                                               
addresses and  just adds  public library  nonprofit corporations,                                                               
proposes  to change  the exception  regarding  records of  public                                                               
elementary or  secondary school libraries  such that  it pertains                                                               
to  children under  18 years  of age,  and proposes  to stipulate                                                               
another  exception for  all other  types  of libraries  regarding                                                               
children under 14 years of age.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN  opined that  changing the  age reference  to those                                                               
under the  age of 14,  as Version S  proposes to do,  will create                                                               
confusion and will be a step  backward, and relayed that she does                                                               
not support Version S.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA indicated  that he'd still like  to hear more                                                               
testimony regarding  his hypothetical example of  a child seeking                                                               
material on suicide.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLM  expressed disapproval  that a  librarian has                                                               
access  to information  about a  child without  there being  some                                                               
assurance  that  the  librarian   hasn't  been  found  guilty  of                                                               
molesting a child.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0857                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JACQUELINE  TUPOU,  Staff to  Senator  Lyda  Green, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, sponsor, added that the  legislature has the duty to                                                               
make policy regarding where it wants  parental rights to go.  She                                                               
noted  that  legislation  passed   during  the  22nd  legislature                                                               
increased  parental  accountability  for children  who  vandalize                                                               
public school  property.   She opined  that [the  change proposed                                                               
via Version  S] would be a  step backward and would  send a mixed                                                               
message with regard to parental  accountability.  She stated that                                                               
if  a  teenager wants  information  about  pregnancy, he/she  can                                                               
simply go to  a "Barnes & Noble" bookstore and  purchase it.  For                                                               
instances where  public money is  used, however,  the legislature                                                               
needs  to   make  a   policy  for   families  and   for  parental                                                               
accountability, she concluded.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE said that the bill  strikes a cord that reminds her                                                               
of  times when  book  burnings  [as a  form  of censorship]  were                                                               
taking  place.   Some  parents  don't allow  their  kids to  read                                                               
"Harry   Potter"  books   because   they   think  it   [promotes]                                                               
witchcraft,  she noted,  and  opined  that this  is  a sad  thing                                                               
because  those  are some  of  the  best  books she's  ever  read.                                                               
Interspersed  within  the  arguments  against  the  bill  is  the                                                               
American concept  of freedom of  ideas and information  and books                                                               
that  set one  free, and  some children  don't have  parents that                                                               
encourage their desire to seek out knowledge.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG,   turning  to  Ms.   Tupou's  argument                                                               
favoring  a consistent  policy with  regard  to parental  rights,                                                               
pointed  out  that  the  law  is  not  necessarily  going  to  be                                                               
consistent;  "just  because  somebody is  financial  responsible,                                                               
that doesn't  necessarily mean that  they control all  aspects of                                                               
the person for whom they're responsible."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 0572                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CLARK  GRUENING,  Lobbyist  for the  Alaska  Library  Association                                                               
(AkLA), indicated  that Chair McGuire has  articulated the AkLA's                                                               
concerns, and  relayed that  he is available  for questions.   He                                                               
mentioned that  as a parent,  he read  to his children  when they                                                               
were very young and still shares reading experiences with them.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GRUENBERG  indicated   a  willingness   to  move                                                               
adoption of Version S as a work draft.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. GRUENING  pointed out that  Version S does address  the issue                                                               
of financial  responsibility; under  Version S, parents  would be                                                               
able  to get  information about  overdue books.   Version  S also                                                               
addresses the  concern regarding  when a young  adult -  which is                                                               
what teenagers are  becoming, he remarked - gets  to keep his/her                                                               
library records  confidential.  He  opined that the  committee is                                                               
aptly   suited  to   make  the   determination  regarding   those                                                               
distinctions.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE asked Senator Green  whether she envisioned a cause                                                               
of action arising from a violation of the proposed law.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 0313                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN  opined that a  better question would be  whether a                                                               
cause of action could arise now,  under current law, if a library                                                               
discloses  information [inappropriately],  and  said she  doesn't                                                               
know of anyone  bringing a lawsuit for that.   She suggested that                                                               
the annoyance of  not being able to get information  is more of a                                                               
driving factor.   With passage of the bill, parents  could take a                                                               
complaint to the library's governing  body if they were unable to                                                               
get information they felt entitled to.   She opined that the bill                                                               
will give  clear direction to librarians  that children's library                                                               
records are  available to  parents.   She expressed  a preference                                                               
for  keeping  the  age  reference  as it  is  in  CSSB  269(CRA),                                                               
characterizing that  action as  being "a much  cleaner way  to do                                                               
this."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG, addressing Senator Green, said:                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     I'm going to  offer the [HCS], but I  would be prepared                                                                    
     to  accept,  as   friendly  amendments,  two  different                                                                    
     things. ...  Number one  would be  if people  wanted to                                                                    
     look at the age on page 2, line  3, to make it 15 or 16                                                                    
     or  something like  that. ...  And secondly,  something                                                                    
     that hasn't  been discussed,  to put  another provision                                                                    
     in here  conceptually that would  allow a  locality, by                                                                    
     ordinance, to  set a different standard;  so this would                                                                    
     essentially be a default if  the local government chose                                                                    
     not to  act.  Would  you care  to comment on  either of                                                                    
     those?                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GREEN  said  she  is  not  in  favor  of  Representative                                                               
Gruenberg's second  suggestion because she doesn't  feel it would                                                               
be appropriate  to delegate the  legislature's authority  on this                                                               
issue in  that manner.  With  regard to the suggestion  to change                                                               
the age  reference, she offered  her belief that having  the bill                                                               
say "under 18 years of age"  will ensure that the age of majority                                                               
will be  speaking in  the legislature's favor  and that  the bill                                                               
will be much cleaner.  In  response to a question, she noted that                                                               
the  question of  changing the  age has  been discussed  in prior                                                               
committees but  not to  the extent that  it's being  discussed in                                                               
this committee.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 04-85, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN  said she thinks  using something other the  age of                                                               
majority will create confusion.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE sought  confirmation  that the  bill  will not  be                                                               
interpreted to say  that a minor cannot check out  a book without                                                               
a parent's consent.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GREEN indicated  that such  an interpretation  would not                                                               
align with her intent.  She  also indicated a reluctance to add a                                                               
provision  that would  require a  person to  prove he/she  is the                                                               
custodial  parent or  guardian, mentioned  the FERPA  and federal                                                               
funding, and offered her belief  that there are probably very few                                                               
libraries  that  haven't been  started  with  federal, state,  or                                                               
local government public  funds.  She opined  that this acceptance                                                               
of public funds does give the  state a compelling interest in how                                                               
libraries are run.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0283                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG moved  to adopt the proposed  HCS for SB
269, Version 23-LS1457\S, Mischel, 5/10/04, as the work draft.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ANDERSON objected.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  said  he  still  has  a  concern  regarding                                                               
providing proof  that the person  is really the  custodial parent                                                               
or guardian.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN  reiterated her belief that  libraries already have                                                               
a  mechanism in  place to  determine whom  a custodial  parent or                                                               
guardian is.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOLM  reiterated   his  concern  that  librarians                                                               
aren't subject to criminal history background checks.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 0413                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
A  roll  call  vote  was   taken.    Representatives  Ogg,  Gara,                                                               
Gruenberg, and  Samuels voted in  favor of adopting Version  S as                                                               
the  work draft.   Representatives  Holm,  Anderson, and  McGuire                                                               
voted against it.  Therefore,  Version S was before the committee                                                               
by a vote of 4-3.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 0536                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  said if the  committee is going  to consider                                                               
amending the  age reference, he would  move to amend it  to "13".                                                               
He then withdrew that amendment [which did not get labeled].                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG in  response to  a question,  explained                                                               
that the  bill would not  apply to enrolled  university students,                                                               
regardless of age.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN concurred,  and, in response to  a comment, pointed                                                               
out that  university libraries  are open to  the public  and thus                                                               
books can be checked out by  anyone including those under the age                                                               
of majority.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ANDERSON  expressed a preference for  not amending                                                               
Version S.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN again reiterated her  preference for having the age                                                               
of  majority be  the cutoff,  and added  that she  would then  be                                                               
willing to accept the language  in proposed paragraphs (1)-(3) of                                                               
Version S, since it would address the concerns members have.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE said that that makes sense.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  agreed, but then  added that he  is not                                                               
in favor of  retaining proposed paragraph (1),  which reads, "the                                                               
parent or guardian of that child  makes a written request for the                                                               
records".                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GREEN, notwithstanding  her earlier  comment, then  said                                                               
she  can't  agree  with  any   of  the  changes  that  Version  S                                                               
incorporates.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 1:12 p.m. to 1:20 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE  predicted that there  will be an objection  on the                                                               
House floor to adopting Version S.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 0860                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGG  made a motion  to adopt Amendment 1,  on page                                                               
2, line  3, replace "under 14  years" with "over 16  years of age                                                               
and unemancipated".                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said he would accept that.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGG then said, "'16 and over'."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked,  "Why don't we say,  "at least 16                                                               
years of age or unemancipated'?"                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE OGG said that would be fine.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  then  said, "Well,  conceptually,  'at                                                               
least 16 years of age and unemancipated'."                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA pointed  out  that that  language means  the                                                               
same as "16 or older".                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG responded,  "Let's  say,  'at least  16                                                               
years of age and unemancipated'."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   OGG   said   Amendment   1   was   inspired   by                                                               
Representative  Samuels's comments,  and  noted  that people  are                                                               
allowed  to  drive  cars  at  the  age  of  16  without  parental                                                               
supervision.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 0942                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE  asked  whether   there  were  any  objections  to                                                               
Amendment   1,   "to   make   it,  'over   16   years   old   and                                                               
unemancipated'."  There being none, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GREEN   asked  how   the  bill   would  now   read  with                                                               
Amendment 1.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE  said that the  way she reads  it is that  a parent                                                               
could  access the  information of  a child  16 years  of age  and                                                               
older  and unemancipated  if the  criteria in  paragraphs (1)-(3)                                                               
are met,  and for a child  under that age, a  parent could access                                                               
the information without meeting the aforementioned criteria.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG offered  that the intent is  to create a                                                               
right of privacy to those 16 years of age and over.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE and REPRESENTATIVE OGG agreed.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HOLM suggested that  they debate this amendment on                                                               
the House floor.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE pointed  out, however, that Amendment  1 to Version                                                               
S, which  is the version  before the committee, has  already been                                                               
adopted without objection.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GREEN expressed  her belief  that the  language inserted                                                               
via  Amendment  1  will  be  in conflict  with  the  language  in                                                               
subsection (b).                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVES     ANDERSON    reiterated     Chair    McGuire's                                                               
interpretation of Amendment 1.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1130                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  said he would like  to reword Amendment                                                               
1 such that  the language on page 2, lines  3-4, would be changed                                                               
to read in part:  "identifying a  child under 16 years of age and                                                               
unemancipated".                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1157                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  McGUIRE  suggested, then,  that  they  should also  delete                                                               
paragraphs (1), (2), and (3).   If paragraphs (1)-(3) remain, she                                                               
opined,  it  would  create  a   different  burden  than  what  is                                                               
currently  in [subsection  (b)].   She offered  her understanding                                                               
that  Representative Gruenberg's  latest suggestion  coupled with                                                               
her suggestion  would result in  making the library records  of a                                                               
child  under 16  years of  age and  unemancipated available  to a                                                               
parent or guardian of the child.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said he would  accept that as a friendly                                                               
amendment.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN asked for clarification.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE offered her belief  that such a change would ensure                                                               
that the  language in subsection  (c) comports with  the language                                                               
in subsection (b).  She  indicated that subsection (c) would then                                                               
read:   "(c)   Records  of  a library  operated by  the state,  a                                                               
municipality, the  University of Alaska,  or by a  public library                                                               
nonprofit corporation identifying  a child under 16  years of age                                                               
and  unemancipated  shall  be  made  available  to  a  parent  or                                                               
guardian of that child.".                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1257                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR McGUIRE  labeled the foregoing  change as new  Amendment 2.                                                               
[Although no formal  motion was made, no objection  was heard and                                                               
so Amendment 2 was treated as adopted.]                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1260                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SAMUELS  moved to report  the proposed HCS  for SB
269, Version  23-LS1457\S, Mischel,  5/10/04, as amended,  out of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
fiscal notes.   There being  no objection, HCS CSSB  269(JUD) was                                                               
reported from the House Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                           

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