As the new executive director of Fort Vancouver Regional Library District, I was interested to read the Jan. 28 letter, “Library display criticized,” from Brian Copp expressing concern regarding a display of books about humanism at the Cascade Park library. I also was heartened to read the many online comments about the letter that articulated the important mission FVRL has as a public library in supporting diverse points of view and interest through our collections, services and programs.
Public libraries exist to offer access to ideas and information from a variety of perspectives. A democracy can only be healthy and vigorous if we both learn and explore our differences as well as our common ground. If we are fulfilling our responsibility, FVRL libraries will promote understanding, prompt a conversation, encourage a healthy debate, and — yes — sometimes strike a nerve. It’s what good public libraries do.