JAMESTOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The beleaguered Patmos Library near Hudsonville, facing a possible shutdown over LGBTQ books on its shelves, closed early Monday citing safety concerns.
But on Tuesday, even the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department said it wasn’t aware of any dangers or ongoing threats.
“No active threat there, no imminent threat, no danger to the community, nothing like that,” Capt. Jacob Sparks told Target 8.
Sparks said on Dec. 8, a library leader called the sheriff’s department about what was believed to be a suspicious social media post.
“It was regarding time to shut down the library by force,” Sparks said.
The sheriff’s department wouldn’t identify the author, but Bridge Magazine reported it came from Republican 11th Congressional District Chair Shane Trejo, who goes by Sean Trujillo on Facebook.
“Time to shut down the library by force,” he wrote. “And then perhaps charge the people writing these checks as accessories for child abuse.”
In an exchange with Target 8 over Facebook messenger, Trejo refused to be interviewed, but said he wanted to clarify his post.
“This must be shut down through the force of law immediately,” he wrote.
The library made national headlines when it announced it would be forced to close after voters first rejected a millage request during the August primary election over LGBTQ books on its shelves. Voters rejected it again in November. The library has said it will run out of funding by September 2024, though a recent $100,000 donation might change that.
On Friday, a day after the suspicious social media post, the sheriff’s department spoke with library leaders.
“They had some clarification and they weren’t threatened by this post and realized it was referring to being shut down by the state, not any sort of forceful shutdown or takeover or anything like that,” Sparks said.
Which begs the question: Why shut down early? In its Facebook post announcing the closure, the library didn’t provide details.
“There’s been nothing since last Thursday, nothing new even since last Friday that would lead anybody to be in danger about anything,” Sparks said. “I’m not sure exactly why that happened.”
“That was no direction that came from the sheriff’s office,” he added. “It would be better directed to library staff as to why they closed early.”
Librarians and a member of the library board referred Target 8 to Library Board President Larry Walton. He did not return repeated messages Tuesday.