GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) — An Upstate organization is calling for change on the Greenville County Library Board.
The Freedom for Libraries Advocacy Group (FLAG) presented their petition, which has more than 2,000 signatures, to the Greenville County Council on Tuesday. The petition calls for Library Board Chairman Allan Hill and other board members to be removed from office. The petition accuses Hill of misusing his power, violating First Amendment rights and making “sweeping generalizations about marginalized communities.”
“In the past year, there has been a lot of commotion among the library board trying various ways of banning books and moving books to different sections where they are not accessible to people,” Susan Ward, a member of FLAG, said. “Most of that has been aimed at the LGBTQ+ community.”
The petition was started after months of contentious library board meetings.
Members of FLAG said the library board needs new members who have library experience and represent the county they serve.
“None of the board members have ever worked in a library or have practical understandings of how libraries work,” Patty Bynum, a retired librarian, said.
“Our goal is to see some new people added to the library board who will improve the functions of the library and make sure that everyone in the community — who wants to use the library — can find themselves represented there,” Ward added.
Six library board members’ terms expire in November. FLAG hopes their petition encourages the county council to replace some of those board members with candidates who will “return good governance to Greenville County libraries.”
“We need new blood,” Bynum said.
“The application period for new library board members is open right now,” Ward added. “We are hoping that a lot of good candidates will step up and apply for those positions.”