Fishers Library Board Representation Could Change Following Controversy

Fishers and Noblesville currently have no influence over the board’s decisions despite being primary service areas for the library. This may soon change following the nationwide outrage over the relocation of John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars” at the Fishers Library.

This controversy has highlighted the urgent need to update state laws, giving these cities a tangible say in the Fishers Library board’s membership. Hamilton County officials have shown openness to this change, which could give the cities a measure of accountability in the board’s composition. However, these changes will have to wait until the legislative session begins in January.

Why it matters: The relocation of Green’s book at the Fishers Library led to widespread criticism and blame directed at Fishers at a national level. The city’s reputation was tarnished, even though the decision was made by an independent library board over which Fishers had no say. This incident underscored the necessity for the cities to have representation on the Fishers Library board to prevent such misunderstandings in the future.

The proposal to change the state law would allow the Hamilton County Commission and the County Council to transfer two of their four appointments to the Fishers Library board to the cities. This change would align Fishers and Noblesville with Carmel and Westfield, who already make appointments to their libraries.

The lack of city representation on the Fishers Library board has led to unfair criticism. For instance, Fishers was wrongly blamed for the book relocation decision. The proposed change in state law could prevent such incidents by ensuring city representation on the Fishers Library board.

The majority of people served by the Fishers Library are Fishers residents. It seems logical that the city would have a say in the board’s makeup. A similar case can be made for Noblesville. However, city officials have mixed feelings about the change, expressing satisfaction with the current appointments made by the Noblesville school board.

The recent Fishers Library controversy has accentuated the need for city representation on the library board. A change in state law could provide this representation, leading to greater accountability and preventing future misunderstandings. The cities will have to wait until the legislative session in January for any changes to be made.

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