LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – In the wake of the library director Danny Gillane’s recent decision to stop displaying books in the library, one organization called Lafayette Citizens Against Censorship created a petition to return the books to be on display.
“We think that it’s a bad decision. We think the library should restore those displays,” said Lynette Mejía with Lafayette Citizens Against Censorship. “We think they’re important for highlighting our marginalized groups in our community.”
She explains how vital having books on display is for the community. “If you’re not highlighting different cultures and you’re not bringing that to the public and bringing that to people’s attention, and these books are just kind of sitting in the background where they’re not easily found, that makes it harder for people to find and harder for people to learn about these things.”
The library released the following statement: “To clarify the recent library decision regarding book displays, the library has not removed and is not removing any materials from its collection related to any portions of the population. Nor is the library placing items behind counters or locked doors. The library will not be creating book displays that single out a portion of the population–any portion of the population. Book displays are those parts of the collection pulled from the shelves and placed on display furniture around the library.”
Mejía understands that books are not banned but adds that displaying books in the library dramatically helps. “Our librarians were doing a great job with this, highlighting these books about all of these marginalized communities. We have all of our histories as a community, and we want them to continue to do their jobs; our community values that, which is evidence of that value,” she said.
The organization wants to get as many signatures as possible and present the petition to the next board meeting on June 20th.