Public voices concerns at latest library trustees meeting
Published 12:00 pm Friday, May 26, 2023
Last Wednesday’s meeting of the Clark County Public Library Board of Trustees featured much time covering the yearly budget.
However, before and after the discussion, public comment revealed some concerns, while the Board of Trustees also revealed recent policy changes to its bylaws.
Several local citizens were present during the public comment session, with Ron Kibbey and Mary T. Yeiser speaking.
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With the meeting starting at 4:30 p.m., Yeiser wished that future meetings would begin later.
“I would really appreciate it if you all gave serious consideration to holding these meetings beginning at 5:30 as opposed to 4:30,” she said. “There are people who want to come and do come…It will be much easier for the public in general if the meeting time was changed to 5:30 to allow people more time to get here.”
Addressing the matter later in the meeting, the Board of Trustees ultimately decided to keep the time at 4:30, with several members stating it was a personal preference.
Yeiser also mentioned wanting the public time to speak about agenda items and utilizing the projection and sound system inside the Rosemary Codell Brooks Meeting Room, where meetings regularly occur.
“I would appreciate it if we could come forward and say we’d like to speak to [the agenda] to reserve time after it’s presented. The county judge did that in one of the recent Fiscal Court meetings,” Yeiser said. “There’s this brand new projection system and this fancy sound system. I would appreciate it if you all would [consider] putting on the screen [information] that you’re talking about. When you all start talking about budget or talking about making changes to policy those of us folks that are in the audience don’t even know what you’re talking about.”
Addressing the latter, Board Member Doug Christopher asked if it could be done.
“Yes, it’s super easy,” responded Jeff Gurnee, the Assistant Director of Clark County Public Library. “We might have to rotate, but we can try it if you’d like for [the] next meeting.”
The Board of Trustees agreed to try it at the next meeting, with a slideshow featuring different points being included.
In addition to addressing public comments, the group also reviewed recent bylaws.
One area of the bylaws – Article XI. Section 2. c. – dealt with quorum and voting.
It states: “If the quorum consists of three (3) members of the Board, their vote upon any official business brought before them must be unanimous.”
Attorney Dodd Dixon raised concerns regarding such a bylaw.
“I’ve never seen anything ever like [it],” Dixon said. “If one of you were sick, then nothing could happen unless it was unanimous.”
Suggesting that Robert’s Rules of Order would be worth consulting, Dixon recommended considering the matter further.
Before the meeting, public members had addressed concerns regarding changes from the 2012 Clark County Public Library Collections Development Policy to the 2023 Collections Development Policy.
Among them was a paragraph added under the Young Adult Fiction section that reads:
“The following criteria will be used for selection of YA materials. Books and other library resources should include a variety of diverse and inclusive viewpoints. However, the goal of providing a variety of viewpoints does not include unrestricted access to sexually explicit materials. Sexually explicit means graphic sexual intercourse, (including genital-genital, oral, genital, anal-genital or oral-anal) whether between persons of the same or opposite sex. It also includes lascivious simulated sexual intercourse where the genitals, breast, or pubic area of any person is exhibited. It is the policy of this library that books and other resources containing sexually explicit images who target audience is for those under age 18 shall not be
The Collections Development Policy was not addressed in-depth at last Wednesday’s meeting.
The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 14, at 4:30 p.m.