LAFAYETTE, La. (KADN)- The Lafayette Public Library Board of Control held a meeting Monday night to discuss and evaluate the employment status of the manager of the north regional library branch.
Just last month, Cara Chance spoke against the board’s decision to ban displays of LGBTQ+ books during Pride month. In November, she also spoke against the board’s proposed ban on a book called This Book Is Gay.
The decision on whether or not Chance should be fired has been tabled for now.
“I mean, did they have some sort of vendetta against Ms. Chance? Do they have some sort of issue with first amendment rights?” Lynette Mejia, a supporter of Chance, said.
It was a packed house in a conference room at the South Regional Library Branch with colorful signs and posters in support of Chance.
“It's not fair to fire someone of their from their livelihood for just speaking out for what they believe,” Mark Broussard, another supporter of Chance, said.
Community members believes that Chance’s job is on the line because she’s been outspoken against the board over what some in the community are calling censorship efforts. The Lafayette Board of Control president, Robert Judge, stated this is not the reason.
“In reality, a lot of gay kids use the library as kind of a shelter and escape. And by getting rid of books that could comfort or shelter members of our community. They're voting against those people,” Broussard stated.
Both board member Stephanie Armbruster and Robert Judge voted in favor to terminate Chance.
“You’re getting ready to fire someone to completely and radically changed their lives, to take away their livelihood to take away this career that means so much to them,” Mejia explained.
While two other board members asked to have more time to make their decision.
“Go on the right side of history. Go on what the people want because it's a public library. You should side with what the public wants,” Broussard said.
When the board agreed to table their decision, it was a small victory to Chance’s supporters.
“I think that they tabled it so they could push the issue into the future in hopes that less people would come to the next one in hopes that maybe people wouldn't come back to support Cara again, which we will,” Broussard said.
“She is our librarian. She has been our librarian for years and we absolutely love her and we are so glad that she was able to keep her job tonight,” Mejia added.
According to Chance’s attorney, she was not present at the meeting due to a medical procedure she had scheduled for the next day.
A date for the next meeting to discuss Chance’s employment has not been made yet.