At their meeting this past Monday, the seven-member Board of Supervisors for Louisa County voted on a resolution to formally oppose any change of the name of the Jefferson Madison Regional Library system. A group requested that action at the most recent meeting of the JMRL’s Board of Trustees.
Supervisor Chair Duane Adams of the Mineral District asked for the resolution to be put on the agenda.
“I think about $392,000 of our tax money goes to funding the Jefferson Madison Regional Library [and] we have a right to say how our money is spent,” Adams said.
Adams said this resolution did not withhold the funding but simply stated opposition to a potential name change.
“If the library board changes their name I will put a motion and resolution on the [Louisa] Board’s agenda to withhold our $392,000 and bring it back to the county,” Adams said. “What that would mean is we would withdraw from the regional library system.”
Adams said the library would not close and service would continue.
For comparison, the Fluvanna public library is independent of JMRL and that county’s budget is $457,442 for fiscal year 2023. Adams also noted there is no outcry against the name of the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission or that there is a tobacco leaf on the Louisa County seal.
“I think at some point we have to recognize that history and people is both good and bad,” Adams said. “Yes, the institution of slavery was evil, it was awful, it was despictable and I don’t think anyone would ever try to justify it.”
Cuckoo District Supervisor Willie Gentry said he wanted to know more information about what the new name might be.
“It’s kind of hard to say you oppose something when you don’t know what it’s going to,” Gentry said. “The second thing is, the name on the building is the Louisa County library.”
Gentry, Adams, and the rest of the board voted to oppose the name change.
The next meeting of the JMRL Board of Trustees will be held on June 27 at the Northside Library beginning at 3 p.m.