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Library board appoints interim leadership amid controversy

Posted at 10:14 PM, Feb 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-03 23:52:14-05

The Lafayette Parish Library Board of Control has appointed interim leadership amid controversy over their rejection of a grant that would fund a program on the history of voting rights.

During a contentious meeting Wednesday night, the Board of Control appointed Larry Angelle as the provisional director until the board can properly review resumes of the interested applicants.

The board faced more criticism and even calls for members to resign over the $2,700 grant from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. That grant would have created a program to educate community members on the history of voting rights in the United States and would fund books, two guest speakers and discussion groups on the topic.

Some board members said the speakers were too partisan and Wednesday, some in the crowd wanted answers about who would represent the "other side."

"I want you to understand the passion and how much you have provoked African people who fought for you, who supported you, and who used this library as I did as a young man," said community member Corey Levier.

At the start of the meeting, at least one board member who voted to reject the grant denied there was anything racist or political about the decision.

UL Lafayette Black History professor Theodore Foster, who was one of the potential speakers for the program, is now planning on giving his talk at another location and making it available to the public.

Two national library associations have called on the board to reconsider their recent vote. Read more on that here.

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