The library board replaces, modifies policies; exhibition requests now go through the members of the board of directors | New


ENIDOk so. — Members of the Enid Library Board now have authority over exhibits submitted by outside individuals or groups that are placed inside the library.

During two hours special meeting On Wednesday, the Enid and Garfield County Public Library Board approved the replacement or modification of 10 policies.

Council Chairman Joseph Fletcher said the council will spend the next few months replacing the library’s entire undigitized policy guide.

“Much of the policy in (the current policy guide) was last changed 10 to 20 years ago, so much of it is old and outdated,” he said. “That’s why you see so many things and will see so many updates and changes for the entire guide over the next few months and today.”

Under the new exhibition policy, which received a 4-1 vote, outside nonprofit organizations, community groups, individuals and government agencies wishing to host an exhibition must submit a form to the library at least four months before the scheduled date.

Exhibits currently displayed or requested are exempt from this rule.

All exhibits must be suitable for a general audience, including children, and will generally be in place for a maximum of four weeks.

The four-month deadline gives the board at least two meetings to discuss submitted application forms. The Board will review application forms and has the discretion to defer or decline based on exhibit policy, space availability, encouragement of variety of previous or current exhibits, areas of current interest to the library and the mission and policies of the library.

Board member Kitty Herbel, who voted against approving the policy, said it gave the board “too much power”.

“I think the library board should be second, but I think the library itself should have a say in whether they think an exhibit should be allowed in the library,” Herbel said.

Board member Christina Hopper, however, said board members are appointed by the community to set policies and make decisions about what represents the community in the library.

“We talk about what the community brings us to put together for display, and I think the board has every right to talk about that,” Hopper said.

The board may reject exhibit that does not comply with the terms of the policy and may restrict the use of items that pose a risk to public health, morals, safety and welfare, and disputes over exhibitions may be appealed.

The adoption of a new application form is tabled at the next council meeting.

Board members also voted 3-2 to approve a new library policy, prompting discussion about activities generated by library representatives or outside groups.

According to the new policy, “all activities…will be considered in terms of acceptable community standards,” including “the subject matter, technique and style are appropriate for the general library audience, including minors….”

“I read that all activities must be appropriate for minors,” Herbel said. “Adult programming is not appropriate for minors. The teenagers do a program (Dungeons and Dragons) and play World of Warcraft and all that, and after that, they couldn’t do that, could they? …I just don’t want to remove the program options.

The library’s acting deputy director, Theri Ray, and city attorney, Carol Lahman, proposed changing the wording of the policy to say “subject matter, technique and style are age appropriate.” targeted audience”.

“There are a lot of topics that I would say aren’t appropriate for minors that adults might want to talk about,” Ray said. “If we’re going to say even the subject matter has to be appropriate for minors – if you’re going to have a book where they’re going to sit down and read a book that includes hugs, that’s not appropriate for 5-year-olds.”

Fletcher told the meeting that the intent of the policy formulation was that the activities cannot be illegal.

“I don’t see the way it’s being written right now overlooking the possibility of having a romantic book club,” he said. “The intention was that nothing illegal should happen in this library.”

Three motions — to accept the policy as written, to table it until the next meeting, and to accept it with the second paragraph excluded for reconsideration at a later meeting — failed before the library policy was approved as than written.

The new approved policy for postings, which are put in place by the library, states that postings will be non-partisan and non-sectarian and appropriate for a general audience, including children.

Board members also approved a new dress code policy in the library, stating that patrons must dress in accordance with acceptable community standards or may be asked to leave.

The policy on the use of meeting rooms was also approved and states that if a meeting held in the library is subject to the law on open meetings, the person or group responsible for the meeting is responsible for complying with law, and those meetings will be open to the public.

The next library board meeting is scheduled for September 21.


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