It’s time to put a popular moniker to rest.
I introduced Library Guy to Just Wright Citrus readers nearly two years ago.
The label came after my first blog identified him as John Labriola, a transplant from South Florida who anyone could see wanted to bring culture wars to Citrus County, where we had none and so he must have felt we were deprived.
I could tell right off the bat he craved the attention, so after that Labriola became Library Guy, a fitting description not only for this one person but also the band of rabble that permeate certain dark corners of our county.
After the 2022 elections and the Library Guy Gang’s unsuccessful attempts to overthrow the all-volunteer library advisory board, Library Guy sort of slinked away but we all knew it was only a matter of time for his return.
And that’s what happened over this American Library Association membership nonsense. I wrote a little about it, avoiding Library Guy as much as I could.
But it’s picked up enough steam that we’re bound to see it again, starting, actually, Tuesday morning.
That’s when the Library Governing Board — five commissioners, Crystal River Councilman Ken Brown, and Inverness Councilwoman Jacquie Hepfer — will pick one person to fill a vacancy on the library advisory board.
The appointment is for four months. We’ll do this exact same thing in January but for much higher stakes when five library board positions are up for a vote.
You may be asking: Why is the Citrus County Library Advisory Board such a big deal? The answer: It’s not, but loud voices are making it one by leveling baseless accusations that our libraries are havens of gay smut to children.
The pied piper is Labriola, who lost a good job in Miami-Dade for his hateful views (he’s suing to get it back) and has graced us with his presence since then. Here’s a “nice young man” (I hear that A LOT) who seems to know these awful things about the library and why shouldn’t we believe him? He’s a nice young man.
So, when nice young man Labriola tells the truly nice and caring people of our community that danger lurks for our children in the libraries — total, 100% cow chips — they line up right behind him.
It’s days like Tuesday morning when citizens who support our libraries stand up for what’s right and honorable. Doing that encourages decision-makers to stay on track.
There are 17 applications for the one opening. I reviewed them all and two stood far and above in their library experience:
Semi-related, I leave you with this email I picked up Monday that a Lecanto resident sent last week to all five commissioners (edited slightly for clarity):
“On September 14th I was surprised to find an unsolicited piece of propaganda in my e-mail… Some guy named John Labriola took it upon himself to email me a bunch of gibberish under the heading of Citrus Crusader. John’s email ramblings included calling Holly Davis a far-left commissioner, some homophobia and mentioned January 6th “political prisoners”. He used the name Crusader and sprinkled a few knights' templar symbols in his email. Maybe he thinks he’s a prophet. This guy seems to be living on the lunatic fringe of White Christian Nationalism. Does he pose a danger to our community?
“Mr. Labriola was, however, very positive about Commissioner Finegan.
“Commissioner Finegan, are you associated with Mr. Labriola and do you support his views?
“Perhaps you can confirm or denounce your relationship with John Labriola at the next meeting or in the Chronicle.
“I'd be curious if any other Commissioners support John Labriola's views.”
We’re just going to let that sit. Have a great Tuesday, friends.
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Mike Wright has written about Citrus County government and politics for 36 years.