February 17, 2018

At CO Library, a Political Tussle Over a Meeting Room

By LJ Staff

Libraries nationally have experienced challenges to their meeting room policies, but the Longmont Public Library, CO, has experienced a new twist: an immigrant-rights organization refused to let in an opponent of its policies. The library’s policy is that meeting rooms are free and open to the public. Still, reported the Daily Times-Call, library director Tony Brewer checked with the city attorney if groups can hold "members-only" gatherings. "The issue is, if you don’t want someone there, you don’t hold (the meeting) at the library," he told the paper.

The incident occurred on February 13. Because the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition expected a large crowd, they asked nonmembers to RSVP. Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform director Stan Weekes, who opposes the coalition’s policies, was barred because he couldn’t RSVP. He complained to library staffers, who said he should be let in unless the room was full at the time the meeting started. The meeting was full, but only when it started 45 minutes late. Two others, plus a newspaper photographer were barred.