ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – As 2022 comes to a close, the City of Abilene is tying loose ends, including making a decision on stricter library restrictions after obscene material was brought to City Council’s attention, as well as a potential announcement of two projects partnering with the Development Corporation of Abilene.
It has been a topic of conversation for about a month, after concerned citizens showed up at a Library Advisory Board Meeting – the Library Board and city officials are reviewing 26 books brought forth by citizens, some reading explicit passages from the books. They have moved forth with new ways of limiting access for youngsters, including juvenile library cards with strict access to certain content and a “safe search” children’s online catalog. The new resolutions direct city staff to empower parents to make decisions for their children and provide those measures of control as a safeguard.
City Manager Robert Hanna spoke on the upcoming meeting and said Council will be reviewing the regulations, as well as introducing a new policy document with detailed explanations to help govern the contents of the library. He also said if City Council approves the changes, the new cards and online catalog will go live after the meeting.
Director of the Abilene Public Library Julee Hatton also gave an update on the 26 reviewed books. She said the Library Board has not taken action on the books, saying they needed more time to review each book, as well as the committee’s recommendations going forward.
The Development Corporation of Abilene could be announcing full details on two projects expanding in the Key City, with code names Project Little Giant and Fox Hill.
KTAB/KRBC has reported both projects are already established businesses in Abilene looking to grow more, with further details on Little Giant intending to have up to 500 full-time employees with 8 years, as well as making expansions on their existing facilities with more manufacturing equipment.
The CEO of the DCOA Misty Mayo spoke to KTAB/KRBC over the phone and said they will meet with both projects the evening prior to City Council, hoping to come to an agreement on a deal. Mayo said once an agreement is finalized, they would be able to share more details during City Council, however, if one or both cannot agree to a deal, the remaining project will go by itself.
“Our board of directors is well informed on the projects so I anticipate that I’ll have them both in front of City Council.” Mayo said. “We’re counting on being able to announce the name of those companies Thursday.”
To see the full City Council agenda, click here.