A small West Michigan library was essentially defunded in this week’s primary election in a dispute over the LGBTQ+ material in its collection, although advocates say it represents more than just a dispute over books, but an assault on personal liberties.

What is normally a routine millage renewal for the Patmos Library in Ottawa County’s Jamestown Township was voted down Tuesday 63% to 37%, erasing 84% of the library’s $245,000 annual budget. 

Michigan Library Association Executive Director Debbie Mikula told the Michigan Advance that the organization supports the board of trustees at the Patmos Library. 

“We stand in solidarity because they retained a handful of LGBTQ books, and they are still on the library shelves,” said Mikula. “But I guess we’re equally disheartened to hear [those behind the vote no campaign] have used that to defund the library, literally to defund the library.”

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