March 19, 2018

Germantown, TN Residents File Suit for System Access

By LJ Staff

Residents of Germantown, TN, who lost access to the Memphis/Shelby County Public Library and Information Center have filed a federal lawsuit asking for reinstatement for their borrowing rights. According to the Commercial Appeal, the 16 plaintiffs, including City Administrator Patrick Lawton, allege that the library policy was motivated by retaliation for the city’s decision to contract with a private company to manage its library. Meanwhile, Memphis city attorney Sara Hall said that Germantown residents could gain access via the $20 card made available to those outside the county. The city’s unwillingness to let them purchase the card was part of the lawsuit.

The newspaper previously editorialized, ‘County government is contributing $3.6 million toward the library system this year. That’s down from $5.6 million last year. Some reduction in rights for Germantown residents seems appropriate. But Germantown residents should not be denied the same rights as residents of DeSoto County, Crittenden County or anywhere else who are permitted to purchase library cards that allow the bearer to check out materials for a $20 annual fee.