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Opinion - Charles County Library is a place of neutrality.

Dear Editor: Public libraries in the United States have a long and valued position of being a place of neutrality. A place where all viewpoints are welcome. A place where all people are welcome. Public libraries have been called the great equalizer because it doesn’t matter if you have money in the bank or if you have no money at all, the public library has a place for you. We are a community education institution.

Public libraries are considered the everyman’s university or the people’s university. We provide a self-paced and self-selected education to anyone who has a library card – free of charge. Public libraries firmly uphold the belief that an informed and educated community makes for an informed and educated government. Public libraries should be free from any influence that will push one viewpoint above another.

At the Charles County Public Library (CCPL) we live our mission every day: CCPL creates opportunities for our community to engage, discover, and learn. We make no value judgement on what kind of information you wish to discover, what topics you wish to learn about, or what issues you wish to engage with. We simply uphold your right to do so.

We make available to you the information that you are seeking. We connect our community to the endless possibilities that are out there to learn about, to discover and to engage with. Our community deserves a public library that will uphold their right to access to information and their right to freedom of speech.

With input from our community, our public library is an indispensable asset that values innovation while providing traditional library services. Finding that balance among all of the differing voices in our community is the challenge of a 21st century library. The Charles County Public Library is up to that challenge.

We hope to see you at the public library. Everyone is welcome.

Sincerely, Janet Salazar Executive Director Charles County Public Library

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