It’s hard to believe that in 2022 we are still debating whether young adults should be allowed access to books about gender and race, but here we are: Our upcoming Great Neck Library board election on 10/31 is the latest battle in the partisan culture wars that are infecting school and library board elections nationwide, and it is more important than ever for people to get out and vote.
There is a hateful, homophobic video circulating on social media that contains false accusations of pornography in the children’s section of our library. This despicable scare tactic asks people to support Jessica Hughes, the candidate opposing the incumbent board President Mimi Hu.
Despite being asked repeatedly if she would denounce that video, candidate Hughes has remained silent. That alone should tell you something, along with her repeated statements in support of “parental input” on book selection and her demonstrated ignorance of the programs already in place at the Great Neck Library. She has suggested starting a book club; in fact, all our branches have had book clubs for years as well as frequent author talks and book signing events.
Our library is one of the jewels in our community and has thrived under Mimi Hu’s leadership of the board, continuing to serve patrons while adapting to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. New and innovative programming, green initiatives, negotiating a union contract for staff, hiring a permanent library director, and restoring vital services from the Nassau Library System are just a few of her many accomplishments since her election in 2018, all achieved with zero budget increase.
At the League of Women Voters’ Candidate Forum on Oct. 6, each candidate was asked to name the last book they’d taken out of the library, and Ms. Hughes stated that as a working mother of young children, she “barely has time to read a pamphlet.” One wonders how she would have the time to read through the library board meeting packages, which can run into the hundreds of pages. She also evaded answering questions about book banning, offering vague statements about seeking input from parents.
You don’t have to take my word for it – watch the video for yourself and listen to the candidates. It is available on YouTube at https://youtu.be/cLVjlaDkz6I. The choice is clear. Only Mimi Hu and Rory Lancman had the courage to speak out against censorship. They are the most qualified and the best candidates for our library board.
Please vote in this very important election on Monday, Oct. 31, from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Vote in person at the Main Library (for residents living north of Northern Blvd) and Parkville Branch (for residents living south of Northern Blvd).
For trustee: Mimi Hu
For trustee: Rory Lancman
For nominating committee: Kim Schader
Nina K. Gordon