Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Will we lose a treasure of children's lit?

Overlayered had an interesting post yesterday, about the impact of the "clarification" from the CPSA about the impact of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) on the irreplaceable treasury of children's literture.

(Yes, the CPSIA is still alive and way too well, and only continued pressure will change anything since the House voted to keep the CPSIA as is.)

From Overlawyered: As readers are aware, the Consumer Product Safety Commission yesterday advised thrift stores and other resellers and distributors of used goods to discard (unless they wished to test for lead or take other typically unpractical steps such as contacting manufacturers) children’s books printed before 1985 and a very wide range of other children’s products, including apparel and playthings.

Already, thrift stores, resale stores, and used bookstores are destroying books printed before 1985: books which cannot be replaced because most no longer have needed plates to reprint, and which were out of print before the digital age.

Quoting from Overlawyered again: A “relabel everything as collectible” strategy is, however, of limited legal help to retailers, because the law provides that they are liable if they sell a product which will commonly be understood as destined for use by children, whether or not they label it as such.

So I ask, "Will we lose a treasure of children's literature? Will our children and their children and their children's children be the ones most harmed?"

Only we can change this terribly poorly crafted law -- by continuing to apply pressure on our Senators, Representatives, officials, and the CPSA. If we lessen our efforts, the law will take its toll on our nation in ways that can never be undone.



L. Diane Wolfe said...

That's sad they are already prompting those stores to discard items! You're right, only we can make them change that law.
I've also heard some children's book publishers are considering dumping their "under 12" line to avoid the added expense and hassle of testing every batch of books. So just think of all the potential books we will lose, too...

L. Diane Wolfe

Helen Ginger said...

I hate to give away a book. I certainly hate to see one destroyed senselessly. And I really hate that we're losing treasures.

Morgan Mandel said...

Another example of good intentions gone bad, I'm afraid.

Morgan Mandel

Anonymous said...

Just the idea of destroying a book is repulsive to me.

Rena Jones said...

Such a shame! And where are these books going? To fill up our landfills?

I agree with everyone else and I can't even give a book away, more or less throw one away. :(

Vivian Zabel said...

I'm having a hard time with books being thrown away and destroyed. Some of these cannot and will not ever be replaced. It's so sad.

Sad, nothing, it's maddening.