The January 30 announcement came only days after several representatives of the Consumer Product Safety Commission heard the concerns of the publishing industry during the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Denver. Afterward, CPSC General Counsel Cheryl Farley reassured libraries that they did not have to take any action at this time, ALA Washington Office Associate Executive Director Jessica McGilvray reported January 22.
Acknowledging the burden of imposing a testing mandate before there are definitive laboratory procedures for children’s books, the January 30 notice indicated that such previously unregulated items might receive “appropriate relief” from testing and certification if the publishing industry “provide[s] the additional information requested by our staff in a timely manner.”
Nonetheless, Washington Office Executive Director Emily Sheketoff cautioned, “This announcement is not an end to this problem. Since we know children’s books are safe, libraries are still askingto be exempt from regulation under this law.” She went on to assure the library community that ALA “will continue to work with members of Congress and the CPSC to ensure that a year from now, this matter is resolved once and for all, and America’s libraries remain open and welcoming to children.”