RUSTON, LA. (KTVE/KARD) — On March 9, 2023, the Lincoln Parish Library Board of Control voted against two bills at their meeting, HB 25 and SB 7. HB 25 proposes a change to the nature of the board members’ terms and management of the library.
Currently, each board member serves a five-year term and all terms are staggered, meaning there is a continuous flow of members coming in and out of the board. With the proposed bill, the governing authority (in this case, the Lincoln Parish Police Jury) will be able to terminate and replace board members at any time and allow them to serve an indefinite amount of time. This also means that the Police Jury will have the authority of managing the library versus the Board managing it, which is the system that is currently in place.
Bill Jones, a member of the library board of control, says this is politicizing the system and bringing more harm than good to the library. He says while this is not a personal vendetta against the police jury, and while they have always had a pleasant working relationship with the jury, the board believes that they should remain in management of the library and that term limits should stay intact.
“The board is responsible for management of the library….we’ll be contacting our area legislators, we’ll be working with the Louisiana Library Association, and other public libraries across the state.”
SB 7 proposes for certain materials to be labeled as “sexually explicit” in the library. The board is looking to change the label and definition to “age appropriate”, seeing as materials like Shakespeare and even the Bible, would be labeled under “sexually explicit” if using the bill’s definition.
Representatives of the Lincoln Parish Library Board, as well as other libraries across the state, will attend the state legislature meeting on April 10, 2023, to present their ideas for amendments to the bills. Until then, board members are looking to educate people on the bills in order to gain the support of the community as well as local legislators.