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Please help fund the library’s books as it might not have enough money to stay open

A cross-country fundraiser has already raised tens of thousands of dollars to keep a struggling Michigan library operating. A local library has been defunded, and approximately 60% of nearby resident

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Overview of the Story Following its defunding earlier this month, a local library in Michigan has received tens of thousands of dollars through an online fundraising campaign to keep its doors open. As a result of the library’s refusal to remove LGBTQ+ materials, more than 60% of voters in an August 2 election rejected a proposal to renew a property tax millage that provides more than 80% of the library’s annual budget. On Monday, the library board announced its intention to seek a new millage.

An online fundraising campaign for a Michigan library that lost its funding earlier this month after it refused to remove books about LGBTQ+ identities and issues from its shelves has raised nearly $100,000.

When it came to a vote on August 2nd, residents of Jamestown Township, a conservative stronghold in western Michigan, rejected a proposal to renew a property tax millage that funds the majority of the library’s budget.

Following the vote, Larry Walton, president of the Patmos Library board, told the Associated Press that he anticipates the library will close permanently before the end of next year if the millage does not pass. The millage at Patmos Library will be maintained until the beginning of the spring semester in 2023.

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In an interview with Bridge Michigan last week, Walton expressed his disappointment with the vote and described it as “short-sighted.”

I had no idea something like this was going to happen,” he said. The library serves as a focal point for locals.

Members of the Jamestown Conservatives group posted yard signs and handed out flyers in the months leading up to the vote, accusing the library and its employees of “grooming children for sexual exploitation” by providing LGBTQ+ books for young readers.

Amanda Ensing, a member of the Jamestown Conservatives, was quoted as saying by Bridge Michigan: “They are trying to groom our children to believe that it’s OK to have these sinful desires.” It’s a religious and scriptural question, not a political one.

On August 6, two days after the vote, Jamestown resident Jesse Dillman launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise $245,000 for the library to cover its annual operating costs. Funds on GoFundMe had nearly reached $100,000 from over 2,000 donors as of Thursday.

Dillman said in his August 6 update, “I love Jamestown and the people who make up its community.” They are the inspiration behind my actions.

Dillman announced on Thursday that he would be working with the non-profit EveryLibrary to donate the funds raised to the Patmos Library because of the overwhelmingly positive response to the fundraiser.

On Monday, following a nearly two-and-a-half hour public comment period, the Patmos Library board announced that it would seek another millage.

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