January 18, 2023
Pocatello–When members of the Library Board arrived at Marshall Public Library yesterday afternoon for their January meeting, they were met by an unusual sight: a large group of community members who planned to address the Board. The group, which included local representatives of Idaho MassResistance, hoped to discuss the availability and display of the library’s collection of what they said were explicit children’s books.
Unfortunately, only two of the Board’s five members were present, and the meeting was canceled for lack of a quorum. When questioned by attendees, the two members who were present stressed that they had no idea why the other members were absent, and that they were unaware that members of the public planned to attend the meeting. However, one person told the Observer that it appeared the two members had been busily texting in the moments before the meeting, and questioned whether the lack of quorum may have been hurriedly arranged to avoid having a confrontation with the group of concerned citizens. The two Board members left shortly after the meeting cancellation was announced.
Before the Board members left, one local woman was able to have a brief conversation with Library Board Member and City Councilwoman Linda Leeuwrik. The woman asked Ms. Leeuwrik how she felt about books that expose young children to pornography. Ms. Leeuwrik refused to discuss the issue, stating, “The books we have in this library are not pornography.” When another attendee requested permission to show her a picture from a book that was displayed in the library, Ms. Leeuwrik also refused, citing the lack of quorum.
After the Board members left the library, the group of citizens held an impromptu meeting, led by IDGOP District 29 Chairman David Worley, to discuss how to ensure that books he described as “immoral and inappropriate” are removed from Marshall Public Library.