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Library board of directors to draft new policy

1/22/2012

By GAYLE WEBER

gweber@dailynews.net

The Hays Public Library Board of Directors is in the midst of drafting a specific policy that deals with what types of entities can use library spaces.

It's come to a head recently with the Big First Tea Party's request to use the library's gallery for a class to teach the U.S. Constitution.

David Dunn, president of the library's board of directors, said the library is trying to be neutral in its decision to deny the tea party organization's request.

"Even though they say what they were wanting to do was to teach the Constitution, it's done by a political party, and anytime a political party does something, they put their spin on it," Dunn said.

Dunn said the library doesn't want to open itself up to having to "provide the same for all," by allowing one political party to host an event there.

He said it would be the same for religious groups.

"It's not because they're religious. Everyone would then need to have their time in the gallery," Dunn said. "We try to maintain that neutrality."

Dunn said the board has supported library director Eric Norris' decision to not allow the Big First Tea Party to meet in the gallery, but work will continue on a policy.

"We've been going by precedents in the past," Dunn said. "We feel that we need to put it down as a policy."