News

Patmos library’s fight for funds

Graphic design by Sidney Stablein.

Story by Ellie Youngs, News Editor

On November 8, the voters in Jamestown, Michigan once again rejected a proposed millage that would increase funding for Patmos library — the township’s only public library. It was rejected by a majority of 55.8 percent of voters. This millage was put on the ballot back in August and was shot down by voters then as well. If passed, this millage would have covered the majority of the library’s 10 year budget — 85 percent of the budget to be exact.

Certain Jamestown residents have fought hard against this millage because of the belief that the library is promoting pornography and “grooming children” with a handful of books that pertain to LGBTQ+ matters. There are several residents who have spoken out about their opposition to the library so long as it continues to house these books on its shelves. One of the people who spoke out was John Mast, who explained that “we’ll pay for this library completely, but we’re not going to pay for it as long as they got them kind of books in there.”

 Mast was one of approximately 3,069 who made their statement of disapproval on the ballot last week. Prior to this election, Patmos Library had received seven formal complaints from residents requesting to have certain books removed from its shelves. The Patmos Library Board later denied all seven requests. As a result of this, several Jamestown citizens continued to protest the presence of the library as a whole by placing signs in their yards encouraging others to vote No on the proposed millage, and the Library is paying the price.

Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva on Pexels.com

Without the millage, library officials say that the library only has enough funds to keep the library up-and-running for just under two years, and even this two-year cushion was supplied by a resident fundraiser that managed to come up with $264,535 after the millage failed in August. 

This does not, however, mean that all hope is lost for the library.  The failure of this millage caught attention nationwide, and people from all over have put forth their own money to help fund this library, including bestselling author Norah Roberts, who donated $50,000 to help the library stay afloat. This national attention sparked an international fundraiser that raised over $250,000 for the library. 

Categories: News, The Saint