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Locals stand with the Meridian Library District amid controversy

About 30 people gathered on Tuesday to protest a petition that would dissolve the library district.

MERIDIAN, Idaho — About 30 people gathered in front of the Ada County Courthouse to "Save the Meridian Library District" on Tuesday. 

Earlier this month, a group called "Concerned Citizens of Meridian" filed a petition asking the Ada County Board of Commissioners to dissolve the Meridian Library District. 

They're claiming the district support sexual indoctrination of children and refuses to discuss "obscene and sexually explicit material." 

The group also accused the library district of misusing taxpayers' funds because some books are "offensive and shouldn't be available to the kids." 

Many people against the petition believe there isn't offensive material in the libraries to begin with, and even if there was some material that might be offensive to some people, that responsibility falls on parents and guardians to ensure children are checking out age-appropriate books. 

"If you have issues with information your children's accessing, take a look at their cell phones," BSU student Naomi Trueman said. "If you're going to give them unmitigated access to the internet, be a better parent and stand up and take care of that. It's not on librarians or the library for the information that they have available."

19-year-old Izzy Burgess organized the rally. She previously worked for the Meridian Library District and called the petition "discriminatory" and "unfounded." 

"The library is the last free place for everyone to get information," she said. "Once we take that away, we take away people's freedom. Even if you disagree with some of our books, someone else who agrees should still be able to check those books out."

Ada County Commissioners are currently reviewing the petition, which is in the early stages. Ultimately, the decision could come down to the voters. 

Right now, people are waiting for the board to set a hearing date. That should happen within the next couple of months. 

Burgess said she hopes the issue gets on the ballot since she believes voters would stand with the library.

"The love, passion and kindness that I've seen from Meridian library staff members is unmeasurable," she said. "That is why I'm disgusted by this petition and the accusations against the most dedicated group of people in our community." 

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