Harry Potter and Library Law
From Mike Wetta on February 11th, 2021
In 2002, the Cedarville School Board in Crawford County, Arkansas, ordered the removal of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books from library shelves, holding that “witchcraft or sorcery [should not] be available for study.” School librarian Estella Roberts, standing on policy, had the books reviewed—and unanimously approved—by a committee of teachers and administrators that included a child and a parent. However, the case was eventually brought to trial and ultimately decided in federal court, where it set a precedent for libraries in the years since then.
Presented by the two attorneys representing both sides of the case, this webinar will consider the origins of the book ban, the civil procedures and legal arguments involved, and implications for collection development in all kinds of libraries.
Brian Meadors is a former U.S. Navy nuclear submarine officer. After his naval service, he attended Georgetown University Law Center, graduating cum laude. He practiced law in Washington, DC, for a few years before moving to Fort Smith, Arkansas, where he was a trial lawyer for ten years. Brian is currently in-house counsel for a Fortune 500 corporation and lives in Charlotte, NC.
David Hogue is a private practice attorney in Conway, AR. Formerly county attorney for Faulkner County, Arkansas, he is an ardent library supporter and has experience with many of the issues that public libraries regularly face.