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Library board passes revisions to collection development policy

Campbell County Public Library this evening in a 3-2 vote passed revisions to the collection development policy.

Board member Charlie Anderson states concerns with the policy prior to the vote. (Mary Stroka/County 17)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — In a 3–2 vote this evening, the Campbell County Public Library board passed revisions to its collection development policy.

Library Board Chair Sage Bear, member Chelsie Collier and member Charles Butler voted in favor, while board members Charlie Anderson and Darcie Lyon voted against.

According to the policy document, the policy’s primary goal is to present the Campbell County Public Library System’s commitment to a collection that seeks to meet the needs of the public it serves. It guides library staff and informs the public how materials selection and maintenance decisions are made. Campbell County funds the library system.

The board began a line-by-line review of the policy document in January. Revisions include the elimination of references to the American Library Association and the addition of a Policy for Protecting Children from Harmful, Sexually Explicit Material in Areas Designated for Minors.

A notice of intent to adopt rules said there are no Wyoming statutory standards or requirements associated with the development of collections within Wyoming libraries and the agency’s proposed policy doesn’t involve seizing property; W.S. 9-5-304 doesn’t apply. Proposed revisions for the collection development policy include some from a pro bono Florida-based legal organization, Liberty Counsel, that the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled a hate group. Board Chair Sage Bear said the organization said that it or one of its affiliates will help defend the county if the policy is challenged in court.

Board member Charlie Anderson said prior to the vote that the board should wait for the county attorney to review the changes. He also reiterated concerns that Liberty Counsel is giving legal advice in Wyoming. His motion to postpone the decision failed without a second.

“I think I’m going to sleep really well tonight,” Bear said after the meeting.


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