UPDATE: Changes to Library Card Restrictions for Minors in Rutherford County

Dec 04, 2023 at 11:40 am by WGNS News

To hear the full interview with Rita Shacklett, click the PLAY button below.

Rutherford County, TN - The Rutherford County Library System is set to implement significant changes to library cards, impacting those aged 17 and under. Starting December 18, individuals in this age group will face restrictions on the library sections they can access and the books they can check out. While the move is intended to cater to age-appropriate content, it has raised concerns, particularly regarding students conducting research for school assignments. Rita Shacklett, Director of the Rutherford County Library System, acknowledged that the changes could hinder a students' ability to access a broader range of materials for educational purposes...


The alterations stem from recent revisions to state and local ordinances, prompting the Library System to update Juvenile and Young Adult patron guidelines and profiles. Shacklett emphasized that parents have the option to sign a simple form allowing their children broader access to books beyond their age classification... The library system released a statement addressing the issue, acknowledging the potential limitation on educational resources for students. They urged parents and legal guardians to visit their local branches starting December 1 to make adjustments to their child's account and prevent any disruption in accessing necessary resources.

Similar changes at libraries across the south have been met with members of the community supporting the measures for age-appropriate content, while others have expressed concerns about potential hindrances to educational opportunities for young library patrons.

As the changes take effect, the library remains committed to providing accessible resources while accommodating the diverse needs of its young readership. These changes will be in place on December 18, 2023 at all branches that are under the Rutherford County Library System. See branch locations below, along with a statement from the library...

  • Linebaugh Public Library: 105 W. Vine St. in Murfreesboro.
  • MGL Library: Inside Patterson Park Community Center
    521 Mercury Blvd. in Murfreesboro.
  • Technology Engagement Center: 306 Minerva Drive in Murfreesboro.
  • Historical Research Center (HRC): 435 Rice Street in Murfreesboro.
  • Smyrna Public Library: 400 Enon Springs Rd. West in Smyrna.
  • Eagleville Bicentennial Public Library: 317 Hwy 99E in Eagleville.   

For more information, call 615-893-4131 or visit rclstn.org.  Explore, Imagine, Engage through RCLS.