LLANO COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Llano County will keep its library after Llano County commissioners voted to remove an item about its future from its agenda.
In a special meeting Thursday, the Llano County Commissioners Court planned to discuss whether to “continue or cease operations of the current physical Llano County Library System,” according to the agenda.
Some spoke in favor of keeping the libraries, while others talked about why the libraries should close.
“The library will remain open. We will try this in the courts, not through social media or through news media,” Llano County Judge Ron Cunningham said.
The decision came after hearing more than half an hour of public comment, in which those who wanted to keep and close the facility testified.
” I believe the large majority of Llano County wants to keep this library,” said Jeff Scoggins who spoke at the meeting.
”These materials cannot be in that library it has destroyed my family,” said a woman who was testifying for the libraries to close.
In a civil court case against Llano County, a federal court partially granted a preliminary injunction, ordering the return of books previously removed from the county’s library system in March.
According to court documents, the county must also update the library system’s searchable catalog to reflect that the books were available for checkout and keep them from removing any more books.
Suzette Baker, a former librarian for the Kingsland branch library, which is in the Llano County Library System, said she was fired after not removing certain books. She tells KXAN the library should be a place people can go and read whatever they like.
WARNING: The video below is from a live, public meeting. Profanity and/or sensitive subjects may be discussed. Listen at your own risk.
On Oct. 28, 2022, a lawsuit was brought by Llano County residents against their county government and library system in connection with “removed” books at the public libraries.
According to a past KXAN report, attorneys for the plaintiffs said the books were targeted for removal due to their content, while the defense argued that the books were removed due to other reasons.
”Personally I don’t really want the library system to be closed, but if that is the only way that we can keep smut and stuff out of our children’s hands then close the library,” said Ervin Light who was in attendance at Thursday’s meeting.
Light said he is concerned over books he said are inappropriate for kids, which are easily accessible at the libraries.
”When you have sexually explicit material where a 5 year old can get a hold of it that is wrong,” Light said.
The removals began in December 2021 after the Llano County Commissioners’ Court dissolved the library board and created a new advisory board.
The Office of the Llano County Judge released an official statement about the special meeting below:
Llano County ComCourt 4-13-23 Press ReleaseDownload