As of May 31, all Pride, Black History, Women’s History and Cajun Heritage book displays will be among those no longer allowed on display at any Lafayette public library.
Galline explains he wanted to avoid anything with a political bend, as the first full summer reading program in a couple of years gets underway saying he believes that if the library is unable to appeal to the whole population, then the book display will not go up.
Here is the interview:
“If you were presented with another way of handling it, would you consider that?” Renee Allen asked.
“Yes, but it’s got to handle everybody,” Gillane said.
He says the choice to eliminate certain book displays was an administration decision, not a board decision, nor a decision from the outside.
He admits the original email to managers stated anything that might have a political connection do not put on display.
“I realized that it’s more of anything that singles out a portion of our population. Our whole population is worth celebrating but I feel in 2022 if I miss somebody, then I’m going to upset somebody. I realize with the decision I made, that I may have upset everybody,” Gillane noted.
“So, while you’re trying to win, it turns out you’re actually kind of…” Allen questioned.
“I’m not trying to win now. I’m trying not to lose. I don’t see a win in this decision. I don’t see a win any direction that I go,” Gillane added.
He explains that last year there were book display challenges that he believed were invitations for more controversy.
“So, let’s talk about the book displays. I’m just making sure I’m touching all the areas that seem to be of controversy: Women’s History Month, Native American History, Black History Month displays? Stop me when I’m wrong: LGBTQ, Cajun, and Creole Heritage displays. I just stumbled upon Religious Holidays?” Allen listed.
“Anything that singles out a portion of the population, we are not going to do a display,” Gillane answered.
The response to the decision has been overwhelmingly in opposition, including from the League of Women Voters of Lafayette, who urged the library to reverse its policy and continue allowing displays that highlight a wide range of communities and perspectives.