Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act Update

Shaker Beth emailed this important update on a recently discussed issue, which I am posting with her permission:
Liss, I just wanted to pass on an update on the action item posted about a month ago regarding the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. This is just my quick summary, IANAL and all that, and I have been keeping my finger on the pulse of this thing but I don’t know but a tiny fraction of the excellent commentary and organizing that’s out there.

A one-year moratorium on enforcement was passed on Feb. 2nd, giving everyone some breathing room, and a whole slew of eleventh-hour exemptions were passed on the 9th. These cover quite a lot of the territory folks were most concerned about: "dyed or undyed textiles," "books printed after 1985 that are conventionally printed and intended to be read, as opposed to used for play," and items made from the natural materials that were exempted on January 15th. The full list of exemptions is on p. 8 here (PDF).

I'm not sure how that "after 1985" stipulation will affect my own library – a quick search tells me I have about 70 children's books *added to the system* before 1986, but as we're a small, low-budget rural library and about half of our collection is donations, I'm going to have to dig deeper for printing dates. And I don't know what we're going to do with our complete sets of vintage Nancy Drews and Hardy Boys, which are probably the bulk of that list. Most likely, class them as rare books and move them to our Parent-Teacher Resource collection, which is mostly homeschooling textbooks and fragile popups and is (in theory, not so much in practice, but I didn't say that! *laughs*) limited to adult checkouts. I hate that solution, but it keeps them on the shelves. I'm also going to have to go through our board books and toy books item by item, and again, probably move any book with non-paper parts to PTR.

The CPSA's exemptions are nice and all, but they're procedural policy that could change with the weather. The long-term goal is to get this atrociously written law amended, repealed or overturned. Jim DeMint's office is working on a reform bill. Reform CPSIA and Handmade Toy Alliance are good places to start looking for news and action options, and Twitter is maybe THE best point of contact for breaking news and networking.

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