Russian libraries are obliged to give out books to readers according to age marking, and books that cannot be given out to children will have to be removed from public access in the halls. This follows from the order of the Ministry of Culture, published on portal regulatory legal acts.
The order was signed in December 2019 by the then Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky, but was only published on July 27. It lists the rules for the issuance and placement of books by libraries that contain information that is prohibited from distribution to children. These are obscene language, pornography, justification of illegal behavior, violence and drug use, as well as propaganda of suicide.
In accordance with the order, libraries are obliged to label books by age category, and also to take measures to “spatial isolation of children’s literature collections from literature for adults.” For example, books not recommended for children can be placed in a separate lockable room or in a closet out of children’s reach. If the library has two or more visitor rooms, such books must be in the service room for persons over 18 years of age.
Libraries for minors are obliged to create conditions that “ensure the inaccessibility for children of placing information products containing the marking“ 18+ ”or with a text warning“ prohibited for children. ”The library employee is obliged to refuse to issue books to minors with the marking“ 18+ ”and offer the book, appropriate for his age.
“I believe that this is absolutely correct. There is a federal law, it is necessary to comply with it. These are the books that can affect the morality of children,” she told Telegram “Climb” Elena Drapeko, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Culture. And the writer Dmitry Bykov said that such a measure would only encourage the child to read.
“If he cannot get any book from the library, he will simply buy it or download it on the Internet, but in any case he will read it,” Bykov commented, suggesting that in this case the principle of the forbidden fruit will apply. And if libraries are banned altogether, children will “rush to read with trebled energy.”
Earlier, the State Duma Committee on Culture introduced a bill, according to which it is proposed to abolish in works intermediate marking 0+, 6+, 12+, 16+, but keep the 18+ ban. At the same time, the head of the committee, Elena Yampolskaya, said that due to the ambiguous interpretation of the law on the protection of children, Russian classics are banned – for example, the novel “Quiet Don” by Mikhail Sholokhov is labeled 18+.
In 2016, the 15-year-old son of journalist Anna Narinskaya was refused to sell the book by Victor Hugo “The Man Who Laughs” due to the marking “16+”. At the same time, the book was included in the school list of literature for the summer. In response to Narinskaya’s post, other Internet users shared similar stories: children refused to sell books by Milan Kundera, The Great Gatsby by Francis Scott Fitzgerald, and even War and Peace.
The publishers explained that the sellers’ excessive vigilance was caused by the fear of facing a check: a child who bought a “forbidden” book might have an “uncle with a certificate” behind it. In the Tyumen region, officials considered Pyotr Ershov’s fairy tale “dangerous” “The Little Humpbacked Horse” no age label that was sold at a local bookstore.