The ALA Washington Office consulted attorney Nathan Brown who advised that ALA’s comment letter to the Consumer Product Safety Commission offered a statutory interpretation that the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act does not apply to libraries, even if it applies to books.
Additionally, members of Congress have been telling ALA the same thing — the law was not intended to apply to books. We, therefore, believe strongly that the law does not apply to us unless and until CPSC clarifies otherwise by rule.
We have urged the CPSC to clarify that our interpretation is correct. In the meantime, if a library is aware of a book possibly containing lead at harmful levels or the statutorily prescribed levels, it should remove that book.
As we learn more about this issue, we will continue to post updates on this blog.
Jessica McGilvray, Assistant Director
ALA Office of Government Relations