Pinedale roundup | Commissioners continue to respond to library comments
GILLETTE – Over the past three months, Campbell County Commissioners have made a habit of responding to public comments at their meetings regarding the Campbell County Public Library.
Tuesday’s meeting saw people on both sides of the issue, including some who were upset by the comments that were made last week.
“Threats to take funding away from our community’s extremely valuable resources are not at all helpful, nor are efforts to stop the school district from allowing students to take school trips to the library,” said Christy. Gerrits.
She was referring to comments made at a library board meeting last week. Commissioner Del Shelstad suggested commissioners cut library funding, and Susan Bennett said the school district could sever ties with the library.
Former librarian Sue Knesel said she was disappointed with the commissioners and the county attorney’s office “for not supporting the library board and the director of your library.”
The commissioners approved a special prosecution resolution to allow the Weston County district attorney to investigate whether criminal charges should be laid against the library for allegedly disseminating obscene material.
“This group believes that limiting access to information for teens protects them,” Knesel said. “I firmly believe that providing information also protects the young people in our community. “
Vicki Swenson said the problem has shifted from dissent to subversion. She knew of three instances where people left Gillette or decided not to move to Gillette due to the library controversy.
Gerrits asked the commissioners not to listen to “a small vocal group affiliated with a national hate group”.
The national group she is referring to is MassResistance, which is based in Massachusetts. The group claims it is a pro-family organization that helps people cope with “assaults on the traditional family, schoolchildren and the moral foundation of society.”
Others have called it an anti-LGBT hate group.
Gerrits asked the library to “continue to serve us as it has done, unhindered by frivolous accusations and harassment.”
On the other side of the issue, Susan Sisti said the library is engaged in social engineering and used a sample book in the library that encourages girls to join a boys softball team and take charge. . She said it was not healthy for girls to lead boys.
Rebecca Painter said there was “sexual care” going on at the library and asked the commissioners to “clean the library”.
Gail Cruse said some books show how to engage in oral and anal sex, but they don’t show condom use or cover all of the sexually transmitted diseases that could result from this type of behavior.
“What happened to safe sex? ” she asked.
Helen Hayden has stated that she is not “an LGBTQ hater” or a bully, and that she is the one being bullied. She thinks the library is guilty of censorship because it chooses which books are on its shelves.
More than a dozen books have been disputed so far, some of which are in the parental collection, which can be found in the children’s section. One of those books is “How Do You Have a Baby?” that answers questions children may have about the reproductive process.
“The ‘How to Make a Baby’ book is not educational, it’s obscene, it’s not my opinion or the opinion of a small group of people,” Bennett said. “It is obscene and offensive to many people who try to make their voices heard in the polite way possible.”
Patty Junek said that is what happens when the Campbell County Conservatives speak out.
“This (liberal) vocal minority has been weighty for years now, and they are surprised when the silent majority actually gets a vote,” she said.
She said library manager Terri Lesley was unaware of what was going on outside of Campbell County.
“Terri Lesley said it was unusual, everything is fine, no one else has these issues. Obviously she hasn’t read any newspapers which is not a bad thing I’m sure, ”she said. “She didn’t pay attention to the Facebook posts or anything, because it’s happening all over the country.”