January 28, 2023

Save the Net Books

Blogazine on Books, Arts, and Music

Library defunded (again) for LGBTQ books, likely to close

Back in August, Kelly Jensen wrote about how conservative propaganda led Jamestown, Michigan, to vote down the ballot rate for libraries, making it impossible for the library to stay open for more than a few months. Jamestown Conservatives dubbed the librarians “groomers” who “indoctrinated” children for refusing to take LGBTQ books off the shelves.

Some Jamestown residents responded by starting a GoFundMe campaign for the library, which received donations from around the world. It soon raised over $100,000, and Nora Roberts added a donation of $50,000 — the maximum allowed by GoFundMe. It raised over $250,000 in donations.

However, these donations were never intended as a substitute for local funding: libraries depend on a reliable budget and cannot get by on a one-off lump sum for long. Instead, that money should help keep them afloat until they could get the motion on the next vote, this time with a budget to promote it.

That vote took place last week and the results are in: Jamestown again voted against the Millage rate, 55.8% to 44.2%. This money accounts for 85% of the library’s budget. The city seems to have shown that it would rather have no library at all than one with LGBTQ books.

You can read more about the LGBTQ book challenges at Patmos Library on M Live.

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