After the Patmos Library was defunded in Tuesday's primary election, local citizens are making an effort to save it.

Library Was Denied Funding In Millage Vote

The Patmos Library sought to keep its funding from Jamestown Township, near Hudsonville in Ottawa County, going in a millage vote that was defeated on Tuesday. The millage would have funded the library through 2023. It will now be facing running out of funds by late next year.

The library rose the ire of some residents earlier this year when several young adult novels that discuss same-sex lifestyles were discovered. The resulting row resulted in Library director Amber McLain resigning after she says she was harassed online and accused of indoctrinating young children.

When the Library refused to remove the books, a group formed called Jamestown Conservatives, with the goal of defeating the library's millage request.

They succeeded, with the NO vote winning by 25 percentage points.

There is a chance the millage renewal could be placed on the November ballot and overturned, but library officials are not hopeful.

Bing Maps
Bing Maps
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GoFundMe Appeal Hopes To Fill In The Gaps On Budget

A GoFundMe page hoping to raise $400,000 to keep the library running as been started by local resident Michelle Barrows. It reads:

We LOVE the Patmos Library and being able to ride our bikes there. I voted for the millage in our first election in Jamestown Township, and I was very disheartened that the majority of this community believes in defunding the library because it has books with subjects they don't like or understand. If you don't like the book, don't check it out! Books don't make people gay. Books DO provide understanding, teach tolerance, and love of differences.
Without the millage, the library may have to limit hours or close, since it relies on taxpayer dollars. If you love libraries and believe in the FIRST Amendment, PLEASE donate what you can to help Patmos Library continue to provide its valuable service to our community.
Courtesy Ottawa County
Courtesy Ottawa County
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Cutting Off Your Nose To Spite Your Face?

People using the library told The Bridge this week that they did not think the library would close after the millage defeat, and most said they voted to defeat the millage:

“We don’t need to see those books out front,” said Sarah Johnson. “We’re all for the library. I use it. We want to make a statement that we want some say in the books (chosen to be in the collection).”

 

Steve Wiltz said he voted no  because of “some of the materials that are in here I don’t agree with.”

 

Amanda Ensing, one of the organizers of the Jamestown Conservatives group, emerged from the library Tuesday wearing an “I voted” sticker. “They are trying to groom our children to believe that it’s OK to have these sinful desires,” Ensing said of library officials. “It’s not a political issue, it’s a Biblical issue.”

I don't disagree with any of those arguments, but if young people are negatively influenced by books you disagree with, aren't they also positively influenced by books you AGREE with? And it seems to me there are far more of those books in the Patmos Library that you may be denying them access to. Food for thought.

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