Law banning book shredding holds little weight

Law banning book shredding holds little weight

Posted:
Imagination Library sends an estimated 8.5 million books a year to children ages five and under. Imagination Library sends an estimated 8.5 million books a year to children ages five and under.
Conyers said undeliverable books make up about 170,000 books a year. Conyers said undeliverable books make up about 170,000 books a year.
The group has been battling with the Postal Service over undeliverable books that were being destroyed in an effort to cut costs for the Postal Service. The group has been battling with the Postal Service over undeliverable books that were being destroyed in an effort to cut costs for the Postal Service.
KNOXVILLE (WATE) -
By SAMANTHA MANNING
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -  Gov. Bill Haslam signed a law this week banning the destruction of books intended to be delivered to the Imagination Library program, but the law will have little to no impact on the actions of the U.S. Postal Service.

The issue has do with state versus federal control.

Despite the state law banning the books' destruction, the Postal Service is a federal agency and follows federal law.

"In reality the bill is a wonderful show of support, but I don't think it's going to have any teeth or change anything," Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Executive Director Jeff Conyers said. "We certainly appreciated seeing the bill go through the House."

Imagination Library sends an estimated 8.5 million books a year to children ages five and under.

The group has been battling with the Postal Service over undeliverable books that were being destroyed in an effort to cut costs for the Postal Service.

Conyers said undeliverable books make up about 170,000 books a year.

"A family could move and not let us know, but we're deploying every service available provided by the United States Postal Service to make sure that our list is as accurate as possible," Conyers said.

The new law signed by Gov. Haslam aims to stop the book shredding, writing that no one can destroy the books and must instead make the best effort to donate them to Pre-K, Kindergarten or elementary programs.

But the law can’t constitutionally dictate the actions of the Postal Service.

"Only Congress has authority over the Post Office, which means under the Supremacy clause, the states have no authority under our system of government to regulate the U.S. Postal Service," LMU Assistant Law Professor Akram Faizer said.

Conyers said he’s hoping the Postal Service will end up changing its own policy.

"It's a large bureaucracy’s way of trying to make a one size fits all scenario and clearly it just doesn't make sense," Conyers said.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service said the agency is currently evaluating the bill.
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