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Prattville library director resigns amid book challenges, new director chosen

The board tapped Andrew Foster, currently the youth services system librarian for the Montgomery City-County Public Library, to step into the role of director.

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Lindsey Milam, director of the Autauga-Prattville Public Library, has resigned amid a months of contention from some parents over certain books with LGBTQ and sexual content.

The Library Board of Trustees officially accepted Milam’s resignation Sunday during an emergency called meeting, as Milam’s resignation technically went into effect on June 16.

“She’s been a great leader for us and for all of our employees here at the library,” said board president Susan Poteat. “

Milam has been helping the library in its search for a new director, and the board unanimously chose a replacement Sunday.

Andrew Foster, currently the youth services system librarian for the Montgomery City-County Public Library, will take over the role assuming he accepts the position.

Poteat said Foster was one of three applicants who interviewed for the position, and that Foster has a wealth of public library experience as well as being a resident of Autauga County.

Neither Foster nor Milam were present at the board meeting Sunday to comment. The meeting was attended by a couple dozen community members, however, including several of the parents involved in the book challenges and some of the library’s supporters in its decision so far to keep the books available.

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The involvement of the public at the library board meetings prompted the only other item on the board’s agenda Sunday, creating a policy for public participation in the board meetings.

“Some of you have been on the board for a while; we’ve never had public participation at board meetings,” Poteat said. “We realized at the last meeting that we need a policy to decide how that would happen.”

The policy would allow members of the public to speak in much the same manner as at other public meetings such as the city council and county commission. Public participation in library board meetings will be limited to residents of the City of Prattville and Autauga County. Residents will have until the Monday prior to the board meeting to email the director to get on the agenda.

The policy includes a clause that the public comment must be “in good taste” and must reference specific issues.

“Have you been to any of the other (public meetings) yet?” asked board member Wayne Lambert during discussion on the provision. “It’s very embarrassing to attack someone’s integrity in public and they don’t have a chance to respond.”

The next meeting of the library board will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, August 3, at the Prattville Cultural Arts Building located at 203 W 4th St.

Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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Minton said the library would need to remove books promoting transgenderism in order to comply with new state aid requirements.