Letters to the Editor
July 13, 2023
To the editor,
I read an article in this newspaper on July 6 regarding an update about the library. That article stated that the petitions regarding defunding the library were a response to the lack of action to remove "sexually explicit books from the section for minors." It then went on to state that "At last count, the library contains 167 books that contain graphic sex involving minors, books written for minors about gender and sex education, or books about sexuality for early readers." I was initially shocked and disturbed by those numbers, but I quickly realized that there was no information included regarding where those numbers came from, how those numbers were derived, or what criteria were used to evaluate book content (or a reference that provides that information). Therefore, I, and everyone should consider those numbers to be simply rumors, and rumors are not what is needed from our local newspaper, and they are not helpful for this community to try to contemplate or address this sensitive issue regarding the library. We would all benefit with less rumors in our community discussions.
To the editor,
At the June 26th library board meeting it became clear that most people in the audience want to keep our public library. Not everyone agreed on how it would be run, but they don't want to lose the library. They want our community to come together again as friends and neighbors.
If the library is defunded in the Nov. election the library and Delany building would immediately be closed. The buildings would belong to the City of Dayton, who does not have a budget to support the site. All the printed contents of the library would instantly belong to the state who would remove them and give the contents to other libraries in the state. The Delany building would no longer be available for free use to our community.
If those who started the petition to defund the library, took a few positive steps we can proceed forward as a healthy community with a public library.
1. First withdraw the defund petition from the ballot.
2. Take responsibility for the costs the county has endured so far when you gave them the petition. It is not right to force the taxpayers, via the library budget, to fund your petition. It is estimated the total cost to the library, if this petition goes forward, is $5,000 to $6,000. No matter what the public vote outcome is the library will be billed for the cost of your defund petition on the ballot. Those responsible for the defunding petition should pay those expenses along with the group that helped you present your petition. Leave the libraries budget alone so they can run and maintain the library.
3. Acknowledge and explain what the petition will do to our local library & community. Some people were misled when they signed your petition. They thought they were signing a petition to support the library.
If you follow those steps the library issue can be put behind us and we can move forward as a welcoming community, where children and adults are allowed to read what they want and use all the good library resources.