At 3:43 on Thursday afternoon, a Library Board of Control meeting at the south regional branch was called to order. The singular purpose of that meeting was to discuss the “character and professional competence” of the library director. Roll-call was completed with only board members Jolan Jolivette and Joan Wingate not in attendance. Also absent was the library director, Teresa Elberson.
It’s billed as a public meeting, but it immediately went into executive session. At that point, the library staff member there to record the meeting and I, the meeting’s sole observer, were asked to exit until the conclusion of executive session.
While waiting outside for the outcome, I snapped a photo of the agenda on the door. Moments later, library staff informed me that a patron behavior policy forbids me from taking photos inside the library. The current patron policy was approved in 2017, about a year before Drag Queen activists used loud, long-lens cameras to harass and intimidate the Christian patrons of the downtown library. At that instance, library staff were silent. No photographers were made aware of the policy or asked to stop taking photos.
No public statement
After about an hour, the executive session ended and we were permitted to resume our seats. The only comment from the public was my asking if there was any public statement or resolution of the board of control. “Not at this time,” came the reply. There is also no known timeline for a public statement.
The meeting was recorded with an audio device, which library staffer, Danielle Breaux, secured after the meeting’s conclusion. That hour-long recording is unlikely to be considered public record but may be available to the director, board, and a small number of staffers.