West Michigan Library GoFundMe Raises $110,000 and Remains Open
UPDATE: After Ottawa County voted to defund a public library because of LGBTQ-inclusive books, they raised over $141,000 to stay open.
Some residents in Jamestown Township didn't like that the Patmos Library had an LGBTQ-themed graphic novel. So much so, that they started a campaign to vote no on the millage renewal that the public library needs to stay open according to Bridge Michigan,
The library received national attention after township voters on Tuesday rejected an operating millage renewal that provides about 84 percent of the library’s budget through a local property tax. The current millage is set to expire this year.
It's important to note that the words "graphic novel" does not mean it is a book with graphic content. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a graphic novel as,
A story that is presented in comic-strip format and published as a book.
But that didn't stop many people to vote no on the millage renewal which meant the library would run out of money at some point in 2023 and close its doors. That might have changed when a couple of local residents created GoFundMe pages to raise money for the Patmos Library.
Jesse Dillman and Larry Walton created a GoFundMe on August 3rd that has raised $105,230 as of 7:30 AM on August 12th. Then on August 5th, Michelle Barrows created a GoFundMe campaign for the same cause which has raised $5,394 in the last 7 days. Nearly 650 people have donated to the two GoFundMe campaigns to raise a total of $110,624. (UPDATE: as of 8/15/22 at 1:30 PM a total of 141,816 has been raised by the two GoFundMe campaigns.)
Yes, that is both helpful and heartwarming. However, the library will need $245,000 to replace to millage renewal that was voted down on August 2nd. Donations have been coming in from all over the world. If you would like to support the cause you can donate to one or both of these GoFundMe pages: