TELL US: Were Political Posters Okay at The Library?
We wanted to get your take on a debate between some residents last week over whether certain posters are okay to show at public buildings.
The month of September is now over, and with it goes an exhibit at the main branch of the Chelmsford Public Library that has raised some debate among local residents on Facebook over the past few days.
Donated temporarily by labor organizer Stephen Lewis, a series of posters on the topic of labor rights throughout the world were presented on the walls in honor of Labor Day earlier in the month.
The exhibit has been displayed at several libraries in Massachusetts as well as two state parks, and according to library officials, no money was given to Lewis to display the posters.
However, the question has arisen whether it was appropriate to display images advocating for a certain viewpoint in a way that could be construed that patrons that disagreed with that viewpoint may not have been welcome inside the library, particularly due to the proximity of Election Day.
So today, we ask you your thoughts on the posters. Are pieces of political artwork appropriate for public, but apolitical buildings?
Would you feel differently if the artwork on display showed diametrically opposed viewpoints to the ones displayed in September?
What about possibly controversial artwork that is apolitical? Do libraries have an obligation to challenge all forms of censorship or foster an atmosphere of neutrality to be inclusive for all patrons? Are those two pursuits mutually exclusive?
There are so many questions, but there are many more opinions and we want to get your take on what you think about this topic.