Locals in western Michigan raised almost $100,000 in support of their town’s library after it was defunded for its inclusion of LGBTQ books. The Patmos library in Jamestown Township lost 84% of its annual budget as two-thirds of local voters rejected a proposal that would renew the libraries’ tax funding.
Last November, a group of conservatives in the western Michigan town raised questions about the LGBTQ-related books that were available in the library. Although the library agreed to take some books off the shelves, voters still chose to defund the library.
Library officials have stated that they expect to run out of money by late next year without the tax dollars. A local resident created a fundraiser two days after the announcement to help the library raise the funds. With a goal of $245,000, the fundraiser has garnered support from people all over the country raising over $97,000 in 7 days. With donors leaving encouraging comments in support of the library. “I am an LGBTQ librarian. I grew up without access to books that reflect my community. No more of that please,” one of the donors said.
The library board is pushing for a new vote on this year’s November ballot, hoping that residents will have a greater understanding of the situation and vote differently.