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Placentia Library Director Message (January 11, 2023)

Dear Placentia Library District Patrons,

The Library received an application from Mr. Thomas Breedlove on Monday, January 9th, to reserve the Community Meeting Room for a “Freedom Island Story Hour.” This story hour entails readings of “As You Grow” by author Kirk Cameron. This will be a Meeting Room rental event, not a Library-sponsored program event. The event is planned for Saturday, January 14th @ 10:15am.

The Placentia Library District would like to take this opportunity to address comments we have received about this weekend’s event.

Why is the Library permitting Mr. Cameron to host the event?
The Library allows its community meeting room to be used by community groups or organizations that are educational or cultural in nature. Pursuant to the Library’s Policy, the use of the room does not constitute an endorsement of policies, or beliefs of the group or individual using the room. In opening its community room for use by outside groups, the Library has created a limited or designated public forum. Except in extremely rare circumstances,  which are not present in this case, the Library cannot pick or choose who may use the room based on the content of the person’s speech. Doing so would violate the First Amendment of both the California and Federal constitutions. Additionally, the American Library Association’s Bill of Rights “affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas” and a “person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.”

What’s the difference between a library-sponsored program and a meeting room rental?
A library-initiated or sponsored event is organized and promoted by library staff. Organizations and agencies may submit requests for the Library to partner with them, e.g., the third grade visits with the school district, storytime and face painting with the Miss Placentia/Yorba Linda Scholarship Pageant, etc.

A meeting room rental is when a group or individual submits an application and pays a fee to reserve a meeting room for their own purposes. Except in very limited circumstances, the First Amendment requires libraries to rent facilities equitably regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of those who seek to use them, as long as the use does not otherwise significantly disrupt the Library’s normal operations. Granting permission to use a room does not constitute an approval or endorsement of any individual or group affiliated with the Library, the Library Board of Trustees, or library staff.

Is the Library sponsoring or partnering with Mr. Cameron on this event?
Mr. Cameron’s reading is not a library program, and therefore, not a sponsored or partnered-event with the Placentia Library District.

If you plan to attend the event, please be mindful of the limited parking in the civic center plaza. Parking on All-America Way will be permitted on Saturday. Due to the room capacity, it is expected groups of attendees will be rotated throughout the event.

The Placentia Library District is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion for all community members while respecting an individual’s and organization’s differences and viewpoints. We continue to honor our mission to inspire, open minds, innovate, and connect our community by providing an inviting, pleasant and safe place to explore and share ideas.


Jeanette Contreras
Library Director

January 11, 2023.pdf