Ridgeland city leaders to issue funds to public library pending acceptance of contract
RIDGELAND, Miss. (WLBT) - Months after Ridgeland’s mayor withheld money from the Ridgeland Public Library due to complaints about LGBTQ+ books being on the shelves, city leaders approved a library contract and memorandum of understanding Thursday.
The library can get the $110,000 in operational funds from the city if they accept the contract by April 8.
The mayor and board of aldermen went into executive session for about an hour and a half, making several revisions to the memorandum of understanding.
One of the revisions is added language saying that the city wants direct communication on issues like this.
That’s because some aldermen felt the library system went straight to the media instead of sharing their concerns with city leaders first, which resulted in a communication breakdown.
Ward 6 Aldermen Wesley Hamlin said nobody with Ridgeland ever tried to ban any books, but were just sensitive to them being the first thing people see when they walk in the library.
“We believe that the library and the library system should be neutral and not be involved in politics or personal agendas or whatever. Have all the books you want. It’s a place where you can come for knowledge or read any type of material but stay out of pushing agendas,” he said.
He added that the city was never trying to control the library but rather address concerns raised by citizens since the board represents Ridgeland tax payers.
Nobody with the library system was available for comment after the meeting concluded.
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