Response to library comments at supervisors meeting
After reading last week’s article on the public comments made at the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors meeting regarding public library content, I must respond. Many of my fondest memories as a child are of our weekly trips to the Fincastle Library, particularly when school was closed for the summer. I found the library to be a treasure trove of unlocked adventure, imagination, a cornucopia of world travel to exotic places. The more I read, the thirstier I became for literature, storytelling, culture, science fiction, and the unsolved mystery. I was a just little girl from Springwood, but the library was my magic carpet.
The public commentary quoted stated libraries are housing “confusing and sexually indoctrinating” content. Since there is no public transportation in Botetourt, children are taken by a parent, guardian, caretaker. Furthermore, children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. Isn’t it up to a child’s parent to decide what content is appropriate and relevant to his/her child? Is it the position of the five speakers that they know more about what your child should be allowed to read than you (the parent)?
Another quoted commentor stated there should be “an equal number of professing Christians to give a true voice” on the reconsideration committee. I was flabbergasted that a Board of Supervisors member (Billy Martin) stated that he agreed with removing referenced books from the library, while simultaneously admitting he had “no knowledge” of the content or the books. May I remind the Board of Supervisors that this country was built on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech?
The ability to access free and uncensored information is a core ideal of what it means to be an American citizen. The public library (first founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin) is one of last socioeconomic equalizers in this great country and separates us from the likes of China and Russia. Big government has no place in deciding what Americans are “allowed” to access in a public library.
Granite City, Ill.
JRHS Class of 1989