May 18, 2022

Libraries Say Kentucky Senator Tried to Pressure Them Into Canceling Opponent’s Forums

From the Lexington Herald Leader:

State Sen. Tom Buford, R-Nicholasville, protested the use of public library meeting rooms for “Teacher Talks” forums held by his Democratic challenger, and he tried to pressure the libraries’ directors into canceling the events, according to interviews with the directors on Friday.




“Basically, he said if the event was held here, he couldn’t continue to support the library,” said Laura McWilliams, director of the Garrard County Public Library. “I was taken aback. It’s not that we’re being partisan. We’re not. This is a community space.”


[Ron] Critchfield [executive director of the Jessamine County Public Library] said Buford then told him that, in the future, he will support a controversial piece of legislation odious to many Kentucky librarians. Filed in 2017 as Senate Bill 48, it would place limits on the taxing authority of local library boards by requiring their members to either be elected or appointed by an elected official, such as the county judge-executive.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.