Saturday, November 7, 2009

Jessamine County Public Library Graphic Novel Controversy

Jessamine (KY) County Public Library

Link to November 4 Jessamine Journal article, "JCPL board gives thumbs-up to public comments Nov. 18". (You may need to register for a free account to access article.)

Excerpt: In a special-called meeting of the Jessamine County Public Library Board of Trustees Wednesday morning, the group voted to allow public comments during its regular meeting on Nov. 18. More than 50 members of the public attended the board’s October meeting in apparent protest of controversial illustrated novels in the library, but they were not allowed to address the board, in accordance with its long-standing policy that public comments must go through the executive director.


[Library Board President Billie Goodwill] said she met with JCPL Executive Director Ron Critchfield and the library’s senior staff about the matter and determined that the library already has guidelines in place for parents to monitor their children’s use of the library but that the primary concern is education — that parents might not know what kind of material their children have access to in the library.

to October 28 Jessamine Journal article, "'Lewd' novel leads to hushed protest".

Excerpt: The posted agenda made no mention of the matter, and a long-standing policy of the board prevented Boisvert, Cook and any of the members of the public from speaking at the meeting. Ellen Miller, the lawyer retained by the library, explained the guidelines at the beginning of the meeting.

“The policy of the board of directors at the library has always been that public comments are to come through our executive director,” Miller said. “He is available to take your comments. This board does not have a policy where it hears open comments.”

Miller said although Kentucky’s Open Meetings Act ensures the public the opportunity to attend meetings, a 1995 opinion of the attorney general clarified that the act does not grant the public the right to address the members of the public agency during the meeting.

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