Posted on July 22, 2022 at 11:55 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
A memo sent out to workers within Oklahoma’s Metropolitan Library System warned them to avoid using the word "abortion" and not to help patrons look up information related to the procedure.
One recipient of the memo emailed a copy to Vice, and it was also posted to Reddit.
The memo expressed concern that staffers could face civil penalties (Oklahoma had a trigger ban on abortion that went into effect after Roe v. Wade was overturned) and that inquiries about abortion could be from people seeking to set up librarians.
A later memo, sent by MLS Executive Director Larry White (who didn't respond to Vice's requests for comment), clarified that workers can provide "factual information" about the procedure and laws on it, but not express any opinion on the matter.
It added that MLS was improving tech security so that people seeking abortion information would have more anonymity.
You can read more about the abortion-information debate in libraries (including and beyond Oklahoma) in Vice.
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