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Should Library Get “No Guns” Sign?

The Archbold Community Library Board discussed, but took no action on, posting a sign at the door prohibiting guns from the library during its Wednesday, May 8 meeting.

The question is not whether or not to ban guns; possession of firearms is already banned in the library policy manual.

Sonya Huser, library director, said the policy has not been reviewed since 2013. With two new members on the board– Andy Bentley and Kevin Seibert– Huser said policy manuals would be distributed to them.

Huser said following the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Fla., in 2016, when 49 victims were killed, the American Library Association posted a new “manifesto about guns.”

Many feel unsafe when they know other patrons may be armed, but Huser said one man said he felt unsafe knowing there was no one armed that could stop an active shooter in the library.

Jed Grisez, library board president, said personally, he feels a sign at the door “makes a statement. With all the gun violence, we don’t condone guns in the library.”

Laura Emch, board member, pointed out a sign on the door will not prevent gun violence from happening.

“It may not prevent it,” Grisez said, adding, “but it lets people know where we stand.”

Gerald Short, board member, said if a sign is not posted, the policy should be somewhere in print, so if a library employee asks someone to leave because the person is carrying a gun, the employee could quickly find that policy without having to dig through files.

The policy is posted on a wall in the library.

Siebert asked about those who hold an Ohio concealed carry permit that allows them to carry a firearm.

“You would never know most of them had a gun,” he said.

It was pointed out the policy covers all guns, whether there is a permit or not.

Huser said she would research the matter further before bringing it back to the board.

Activities, Donations

Huser reported on a variety of library activities.

She noted the library Lego Club has 59 participants, and the library has accepted donations of the plastic toy building blocks from several families and anonymous donors.

Along those lines, she said Lauber Insurance Group donated $11,000 for new activity tables for children.

Local companies are sponsoring grand prizes for the summer reading program. An investment club, which rents meeting space in the library, donated $100.

Story Hour had 330 children participating, while Story Time has attracted 65 children and 58 adults.

Legos & Bottles

Huser said the library can still use more Legos. Martie Yunker, also known as “Miss Martie,” children’s librarian, needs clear plastic two-liter bottles for a project.

The library board has scheduled a special meeting for Wednesday, June 5, 7 pm, at the library, to discuss replacing three heating, ventilating, and air conditioning units that have been in service since 1994.

A building and grounds committee meeting will be called prior to the June 5 meeting to discuss the replacement with a consultant.