Petition is successful with 2,084 signatures
To: Greenville County Council
Remove Allan Hill and Restore Good Governance to Greenville Libraries
We reached our goal and delivered our petition to our county council today. We won't know if they meet our demands until early November.
As a result of his documented public behavior, we, the undersigned, demand the removal of chairman Allan Hill from the library board. We urge Greenville County Council to appoint board members who will adhere to the SC State Library Trustee's Code of Ethics, comply with Greenville County's personnel policies, and serve the library’s mission to “champion literacy, inspire learning, and foster community connection” for all members of the community.
Instead of focusing on ways to lift up the library and facilitate it in carrying out its mission as an information and resource hub, Allan Hill and several board members following his leadership have wasted enormous resources on micromanaging internal library functions, blatantly violating 1st amendment rights of the public, and overreaching their authority in an attempt to directly manage county employees. Allan Hill has consistently made sweeping generalizations about marginalized communities including but not limited to making disparaging comments about Muslim people, using public meetings to promote his personal and irrelevant pro-life views, comparing LGBTQ+ programs to Nazi gatherings, and disparaging individual library employees. He has called library employees “idiots” and “activists on the payroll”, as well as openly antagonized individual staff members during public meetings.
He has misused his power as chairman to choose which members of the community are allowed to speak during public comment sessions and - despite his lengthy term on the library board - has demonstrated a lack of understanding of basic library functions and services.
Why is this important?
The library board must refocus its energy on ways for it to support current staff, respect their expertise, and allow the library to function as it was intended: as a free marketplace of ideas.
Without significant intervention, developments which have been stalled for decades will remain unfinished. The library began planning the relocation of the Pelham Road branch over a decade ago. The library currently has no strategic plan in place. The last time library administrators attempted a strategic plan, it covered only basic operational and maintenance tasks. Even as Greenville grows, it seems current library leaders are content to let the system stagnate.
Due to the unprecedented volume of employees who have left as a result of the actions of the Library Board, the library is struggling to hire new staff to fill the vacancies. The board’s single track focus has also impeded the library’s ability to fulfill its role as a vital community hub of learning and engagement, including its important role as a defender of free speech and expression. This has alienated marginalized communities in the area and negatively impacted patrons and the community at large.
How it will be delivered
This petition will be delivered to Greenville County Council in-person.