On December 1, 2022, the ACLU of Kansas sent a letter to the St. Marys City Commission regarding its threatened adverse actions against the Pottawatomie Wabaunsee Regional Library, ahead of the Commission's pending vote at its meeting the following Tuesday.
The Commission had previously attempted to compel the library to remove all LGBTQ, sexual, racial, or otherwise “socially divisive” content. When the library refused, the Commission responded by threatening to reject the library's lease renewal and instead establish its own city-run library over which it would have full control of content.
The letter to the Commission outlines the clear legal implications of the proposed ban in the context of the First Amendment. As a government entity, the Commission has not met the standard of limiting access to materials for a compelling interest.
Public libraries are invaluable resources in our local communities—to individuals and families. They are also a pillar of what it means to be a democracy: an educated citizenry with access to a diversity of ideas & information that are openly disseminated, discussed, and debated.