In certain parts of Alabama, a state in which very controversial immigration legislation was recently passed, some wishing to acquire a simple library card are being told they need to prove they are legally in the country.
According to the regulations of the North Shleby Library in Birmingham posted online, as of September 1, if you want a library card, you have to prove you’re a legal resident of the country.
However, the library’s official mission statement does not have that provision, and states that service will be provided to anyone living or working within the service area.
Though the library is technically a nonprofit organization, it is the only library in the state considered a public corporation, and as such, president of the library’s board of directors Kay Kelley says it “has to follow the rules that all businesses must follow.”
Since the passing of Alabama’s strict immigration legislation, all corporations engaging in any kind of a contract with customers has to ensure they patron is in the country legally.
So for the business known as the North Shelby Library, which considers a library card a contract between itself and its patrons, it must “be careful” and ask for valid proof of legal residency, be it a valid driver’s license, passport, or other state- or federally-issued form of identification.