New Orleans Public Libraries’ Fate Moves a Step Forward

The Mid-City branch of the New Orleans Public Library system. Courtesy of the New Orleans Public Library.

The library millage proposal moved forward with council members voting to put the fate of much of the library on October’s ballot. The City Council voted unanimously on the motion. Notice has been given pursuant to Louisiana Revised Statutes that the City Council will meet in person, pandemic conditions allowing, or by video teleconference on April 8, 2021, in order to place the matter of the tax levy before the voters of New Orleans.

There were 78 comments in praise of renewing the library millage proposal, providing full funding for the library for the next 19 years.

Citizen comments at the meeting were varied, ranging from effusive praise to simple straightforward statements of support for the library.

A person going by Lewis Dunham wrote in support of the library saying, “I unequivocally support letting voters again ascern their support for independent funding of our library.”

Jarred Ennis stated, “I 100 percent, fully support the full millage for our public library. There is no middle ground. It is clearly a black and white issue. Keep our library fully funded and independent.”

Lastly, was the touching story from Arron Kidder, who wrote, “I grew up going to the Nyx library on Carrolton and have so many fond memories of coming through aisles and picking out books to read. Buying books wasn’t something my parents could afford. I was a voracious reader and I still am today. I want every child growing up in New Orleans to have the same opportunities I did. I support keeping our libraries well-funded, independent and would like a full millage renewal, dedicated entirely to the library. Please vote for full renewal of the 3.15 millage.”

This millage proposal takes place after a brutal disinformation campaign supported by the Cantrell administration to defund the library by 40%, a vote that was soundly rejected 57-43% along with two other millage tax proposals.

With the library millage proposal going forward it will likely be on the ballot during the October 9thprimary. The primary for the mayor’s race will also be on the ballot.

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