Back in August, Kelly Jensen wrote about how conservative propaganda led to Jamestown, Michigan voting down the library millage (tax) rate that was on the ballot, making it impossible for the library to stay open for more than a few months. Jamestown Conservatives called the librarians “groomers” who were “indoctrinating” children because they refused to take LGBTQ books off the shelves.
Some Jamestown residents responded by starting a GoFundMe campaign for the library, which received donations from around the world. It soon raised over $100,000, which is when Nora Roberts added a $50,000 donation — the maximum allowed by GoFundMe. It topped out at over $250,000 in donations.
These donations were never meant to be a replacement for local funding, though: libraries depend on a reliable budget and can’t last long with a one-time lump sum. Instead, this money was meant to help keep them afloat until they could get the motion on the next ballot, this time with a budget to campaign for it.
That vote happened last week, and the results are in: Jamestown once again voted against the millage rate, 55.8% to 44.2%. This money represents 85% of the library’s budget. The town seems to have shown they’d rather have no library at all than one that carries LGBTQ books.
You can read more about the challenges to LGBTQ books at Patmos Library at M Live.
Find more news and stories of interest from the book world in Breaking in Books.