The National Park System is banning books at the two county libraries in California, and it’s a move that comes after the Park Service’s decision to eliminate book donations for libraries statewide.
The Park Service has also announced plans to phase out books donations in 2019, though there’s no timeline for when those changes would take place.
According to the National Parks Service website, the parks service is committed to “the protection of public lands and natural resources, including parks and wildlife, through responsible stewardship and conservation.”
The service has made clear that it wants to “keep its communities, parks, and parks and recreation facilities accessible and engaging to everyone, including people with disabilities.”
Library services across the country are also taking a stand against the elimination of book donations.
The Association of Public Libraries (APL) has taken a similar stance, and in an official statement released this week, APL Executive Director Jennifer Anderson said that the decision “is a reflection of the importance of preserving the critical role of the National Mall as a place where people can meet, connect, and explore.
As a nation we have to be more than just a repository for our cultural heritage, it is also the heart of our democracy.”
While the Park System has made it clear that books can’t be donated at the parks, the Park Ranger District has also come out against book donations, saying that they would be a “potentially hazardous” practice.
“When you add to the list of problems with the Park Rangers, we are faced with a potential safety issue with a potentially hazardous practice,” a park ranger district spokesperson said in a statement.
“We don’t believe that the removal of books from parks would be the safest way to keep people safe.”
The National Park Conservancy (NPC) also announced last week that it would be phasing out book donations in 2018, though that hasn’t yet happened.
“Book donations were removed from our park programs this year because of a lack of funds,” the NPC said in an announcement.
“Unfortunately, that is not an option for us in 2019.
We have a very limited number of available resources.”
As part of its plan to phase them out, the National Forest Service announced that it is eliminating book donations from its parks and open spaces programs in 2018.
While the Forest Service has yet to announce the exact date for the change, the announcement also noted that the service is phasing in book donations through 2019.