The board of the Schaumburg (Ill.) District Township Library is revisiting its meeting-room policy in the wake of an August 25 speech given by white supremacist Matt Hale at the library. Because township officials spent at least $17,000 to deploy 250 police officers as a precaution during Hale’s Saturday night appearance, library trustees may vote September 24 to revise policies so that controversial speakers would have to foot the bill for additional security should law enforcement be called upon to protect their use of the SDTL meeting room, board member Debby Miller told American Libraries.
Miller explained that the township took extraordinary precautions because Hale’s March meeting at the Wallingford (Conn.) Public Library attracted 600 angry protesters. The Schaumburg meeting drew 500 people who waited outside the library to confront Hale while 120 attended his speech, Miller added.
Hale’s Schaumburg appearance occurred some two weeks after library officials settled the First Amendment lawsuit Hale filed after his April meeting-room reservation was nixed.
Posted September 3, 2001.