They Defunded ANOTHER Library Thanks to "Conservative Values"
Library Executive Director Penny Talbert says cutting funding would end 30 years of support from the community of about 4,200 people. Last year, Akron provided $20,000 to the library, about $5 per resident.
The latest battleground for freedom of speech is Pennsylvania's Lancaster County, where a borough councilmember called for a budget review of the local library to ensure its programs aligned with "conservative values."
Then, voted to defund it.
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The library provides important community services to all of Lancaster County, including a social program providing aid to disenfranchised community members, and an independently funded women's health class that uses one of the library's public meeting rooms.
According to the minutes of the meeting, one of the borough's councilmembers, council member Paul Swangren, Jr., expressed discomfort with the idea of a women's health class because it was related to "sexual matters," while another stated her own personal dislike for these programs as a reason to defund the library.
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“His responsibility is to be fiscally responsible to the taxpayers and he requested a line-item review of the finances that would align with conservative values,” minutes state. “He was not comfortable with monies going towards Women Health class because it was related to sexual matters.”
The people of Akron were outraged by their council's decision. Numerous citizens gathered in support of continuing to fund the library, with one woman calling the cut "disgraceful."
Even one of Akron's own councilmembers called into question whether this was an "ideological" issue or a "fiscal" one, an apt question at a time when political attacks on libraries and librarians are on the rise.
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Cutting funding would end 30 years of support from the community of about 4,200 people. Last year, Akron provided $20,000 to the library, about $5 per resident.
Despite strong pushback from locals, the borough council voted to withdraw funding for their county library, putting an end to more than thirty years of strong support from the community.
An extremist minority should not be allowed to dictate the books for you and your family. 77% of the American public support their public libraries, and you can add your voice to theirs, by taking action to defend your local library today.
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