The Douglas County librarian that butted heads with the local sheriff over her public declaration of support for the Black Lives Matter movement has resigned.
Library Director Amy Dodson tendered her resignation to the Douglas County Library Board effective July 9, according to a county press release.
A library district in Illinois last month named Dodson as the next executive director. Among the reasons for hiring Dodson was her commitment to diversity and her receipt of the Paul Howard Award for Courage from the American Library Association in 2021, in relation to last year’s effort to include #BlackLivesMatter in the Douglas County library’s diversity statement.
Douglas County sheriff to library:Support BLM? Don’t bother calling 911
Dodson received pushback from Douglas County officials in late July 2020 when she submitted a draft statement of diversity and inclusion to the library board.
The draft statement denounced “all acts of violence, racism and disregard for human rights.” It read in part: “We support #BlackLivesMatter. We resolutely assert and believe that all forms of racism, hatred, inequality and injustice don’t belong in our society.”
Douglas County Sheriff Dan Coverley posted a response letter and personal statement on the sheriff’s office.
“Due to your support of Black Lives Matter and the obvious lack of support or trust with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, please do not feel the need to call 911 for help,” Coverley wrote at the time. “I wish you good luck with disturbances and lewd behavior, since those are just some of the recent calls my office has assisted you with in the past.”
More:Protesters clash in Minden after sheriff’s statement on Black Lives Matter
Coverley condemned both the library and the Black Lives Matter movement, which was refueled after a Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin killed a Black man, George Floyd, though he backtracked on his vow not to respond to 911 calls at the library.
The conflict between the two county agencies fueled fierce BLM and Blue Lives Matter protests in the rural town of Minden days later.
Dodson said at the time that the diversity statement was meant to send a message to the community that the library welcomes individuals of all backgrounds. It was not meant to be an anti-police statement.
“It simply was meant to state our inclusivity at the library, that we are open and welcoming to everyone and we treat everyone equally,” Dodson told the Reno Gazette Journal last year. “I want the sheriff’s office to know we do love and support our law enforcement here. We would never want to support a movement to defund the police, so to speak. I think a lot of this has been a big misunderstanding.”
The library had also posted the statement to its Facebook page, but county officials asked the library to remove the statement shortly thereafter, saying it violated a policy on using government websites to promote a political agenda.
“I’d just like to open a discussion with him and maybe clear the air,” Dodson said, expressing interest in having a conversation with Coverley. “We love our sheriff’s office. We love our first responders.”
Dodson has 25 years of professional library experience in Nevada, Colorado, California, and Tennessee.
The Douglas County Library Board will actively be working with library staff to provide support and to ensure the same level of library services are provided to the public at the valley and Lake Tahoe branches.
“The Douglas County Library Board is starting a new five-year strategic plan for the library and we look forward to planning how the library will be serving the community in the future,” said Bonnie Rogers, Chairperson of the Douglas County Library Board of Trustees.
Jenny Kane covers arts and culture in Northern Nevada, as well as the dynamic relationship between the state and the growing Burning Man community. She also covers the state’s burgeoning cannabis industry (Check out her podcast, the Potcast, on iTunes.) Support her work in Reno by subscribing to RGJ.com right here.
Credit: Source link