Leander City Council discussed updating its library policies during a July 18 meeting but voted 5-1 to take no action. Council Member Christine Sederquist voted against taking no action. Council Member Michelle Stephenson was absent. The meeting went past midnight before the decision was made.
Policy changes surrounding programming and meeting room use are being discussed in the wake of a Drag Queen Story Hour event that sparked conversations on what types of events should be permitted at the library. Since June 1, the city has halted accepting new rental applications for library meeting spaces while the city is completing a review of its rental policies, procedures and activity programming, according to a statement on the city’s website.
Sederquist said she voted against taking no action because she feels a decision on policies needs to be made now, since library room rentals have been put on hold for a while already.
“We have not been transparent on this issue,” Sederquist said. “We are putting our residents at a disadvantage by not allowing the room rentals.”
Proposed policy changes have been amended by city staff since the city originally posted the proposed policy in its agenda packet on the city website. Council Member Kathryn Pantalion-Parker said she thinks this is an important issue and did not want to make a decision until it is clear what the council is voting on.
“It’s been very hard for me to follow, and I’m not comfortable making a vote until I see what we’re voting on finished, in my hands,” Pantalion-Parker said.
Around seven community members spoke during the meeting, sharing their thoughts on what the library should be used for.
City council has received letters from the American Civil Liberties Union and Texas Library Association opposing some proposed policies.
City spokesperson Mike Neu said city staff is interested in bringing more policies back to council to consider. A date has not yet been set.