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Hearing Monday on petition to dissolve the Meridian Library District

A group called Concerned Citizens of Meridian is asking Ada County commissioners to authorize a public vote to dissolve the library district.

BOISE, Idaho — The Board of Ada County Commissioners is holding a public hearing over the petition to dissolve the Meridian Library District (MLD). Commissioners will take public comment from Meridian residents during the hearing, which will begin at 6 p.m. Monday, March 20, at the Ada County Courthouse in the first-floor public hearing room.

"Although we understand the decision of the commission to set a public hearing, we are disappointed that there are members of the community determined to control others through restricting library content, accessibility and growth by changing or closing libraries,"  Library Director Nick Grove stated. "I am hopeful that library supporters will come forward, participate in this process, and let the Commissioners know how much this District means to the people of Meridian."

Earlier this year, a group called the "Concerned Citizens of Meridian" filed a petition to eliminate the Meridian Library District. They claim, among other things, that the library carries books that are offensive to children and that the Meridian Library District and Trustee Board doesn't give any financial transparency to taxpayers. 

"Libraries are an important part of the community, a place for connection, innovation, community and learning. Dissolving the Meridian Library District could likely be just the first step in a bigger effort to close libraries across Idaho or control the choice patrons have in selecting materials," MLD Board of Trustees Chair Megan Larsen said.

In a previous article written by KTVB, on Feb. 16, the Meridian Library Board of Trustees Chair Megan Larsen said that the library had hundreds of thousands of visits to the location every year.

"So, it's really sad that a small group of folks are willing to dissolve the library, shut it down completely, rather than let families make their own choices about what they want to read, as they've done for nearly 100 years in Meridian," Larsen said.

On Feb. 21, KTVB reported that locals gathered at the Ada County Courthouse to "Save the Meridian Library District" and protest the notion of dissolving it. 

After the hearing, the Ada County Commissioners will decide if they will put it on the ballot for voters to decide. 

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