Yesterday was a huge win for the Commissioners, their Constituents, and the Children of Manatee County. A BOCC Workshop was held to open the book and peek inside our Public Libraries.
Last November during the election, there was an enormous display in the Palmetto library right next to the polling room. Underneath the large commissioners pictures was an exhibit of “LQBTQ History.” Click here to get a glimpse of the display and the contents inside. Phone calls and emails were sent to the commissioners and within 24 hrs the display was REMOVED! This began the conversation of who was in charge of these exhibits in the libraries? What are the policies in the libraries for content displayed on the shelves? What are the rules for the pamphlets that are littered everywhere in these libraries? Fast forward three months later and the Manatee Public Libraries have hit the agenda for a Commissioners Workshop to discuss these questions and more!!
After a colorful and pleasant presentation from the head librarian, Tammy Parrot….. the gloves came off!!
Amanda Ballard did her research. Keyword searches revealed more than was expected. Since it was Black History month, Amanda started her digging there. Some of the recommended history books were, ”The 1619 Project, Books on Marxism, etc. No recommendations for Thomas Sowell, Colin Powell or Condoleezza Rice. There was a grave imbalance of left to right or progressive vs conservative subjects and books. Amanda also recommended putting stickers on the outside of books to show the content inside and Book Mobiles like we had as kids into impoverished neighborhoods.
Jason Bearden offered a solution. Why don’t we take the books that we have more of and ship them out to New York or California, until we are balanced 100/100. Jason also asked about the brochures and pamphlets that were placed in the libraries during the election, and who oversees and okays the content.
Mike Rahn asked questions about the Vendor List and could we possibly choose from another company. Mike also addressed the Palmetto Display as inappropriate. Referring back to BlockBuster days, can’t all adult themed or not appropriate books be put in one area not accessible to children. Asking for more child protecting safeguards.
Vanessa Baugh questioned, What is the Library Bill of Rights? Doesn’t the libraries fall under the government and taxpayers? Who is making these decisions? Why are they making these decisions? Who is in charge? We need to get to the bottom of this!
KVO gave a little history on libraries and how they were first started.
Attorney Cleague, offered his opinion and guidance saying that there should not be any politics in the libraries and they should be neutral sharing all viewpoints.
James Satcher was the piece de resistance. He was holding NO punches!! He wanted and continually asked, Who is responsible? Who is going to be admit to being responsible for that display? I want someone to admit it they are sorry, it was a mistake and will never happen again!! Who was in charge of pushing that agenda?
George Kruse, well….no comments.
It was the best entertainment I’ve had all year!! But it was also the most sad. After a year of fighting with the school district to remove the inappropriate, harmful to minor books, the commissioners made more progress, did more critical thinking, had more common sense, than a years worth of dealing with school system.
The Commissioners will be holding more workshops and having more discussions to set new policies. I hope you will attend and give them your support. They have NO FEAR of removing, revamping and making our Public Libraries better…Why can’t the school district do the same? They spoke of conservatism and doing the right thing. It was the smell of fresh air.
I look forward to hearing more exchange and see plans in action. Both government agencies should mirror the same policies when it comes to books available for children. I hope in the end they work together to achieve the end goal of protecting the innocent.
This is why WE voted them into office!
Pleased email and commend them on a job well done.
Now grab your glass of wine, put up your feet and watch the movie of the week, “The BOCC visits the Libraries.” Here are public comments from your own Patriots who came out to speak on behalf of the community. And a plug to the community from your favorite Patriarch….
Cheers to a Win for Manatee County!
Your School Warrior,