Library Needs to Regroup and Rethink its Programs
First, hats off to Robin Jovanovich for a clear, concise report on the Drag Queen Story Hour problem at the library.
Independent of how one feels about the issue, this reporting is exactly what a small-town newspaper should be doing, giving the community information about local issues in sufficient detail so one can make an informed decision.
I’m sure Robin and The Rye Record have been inundated with response from members of the woke, politically correct, community expressing their own views and waving, erroneously, the bloody sheet of free speech. Less likely, messages congratulating her from what may well be the silent majority.
Both sides, I think, value the library. Alienating either group is dumb.
Both sides need to walk away with a win if the library does not want to put its funding at hazard; the library depends on the city for approximately 75 percent of its operating expenses and private monies raised through annual giving to cover the rest of its costs.
I believe the overwhelming likelihood is that the program was not presented to the Board in detail but Chris Shoemaker, in all good faith, felt he could go forward with the program.
Chris Shoemaker blew it, either ignoring or ignorant of the Music Man’s dictum — “You gotta know the territory.”
In reviewing this unfortunate example of extraordinarily bad judgment, I suggest the following:
The library and the woke group agree to try to get another Rye not-for-profit looking to attract more Rye interest to put on the program.
The library agrees to alert all of its members as to the dates of the program.
The library board reviews its mission statement and its implementation of it and puts in place a committee to review all programs that the library plans to make public, and the director is instructed to adhere to whatever rules are established.
- Gerry Seitz