Despite Fire Union Claims, San Antonio Public Libraries have Free Speech Zones

March 21, 2018


SAN ANTONIO (March 8, 2018) — San Antonio Public Library locations have dedicated free speech zones. Yesterday, fire union representatives at the Semmes Branch Library were informed of the free speech area that could be used for petition-gathering activities, as is appropriate. Today, they refused to use it and falsely claimed during a news conference that library staff forced them to relocate to a nearby park. 


“Our public libraries are dedicated to our library patrons, who have every right to visit the library unencumbered,” said Kathy Donellan, San Antonio Public Library assistant director. 


The San Antonio Public Library has designated certain areas in the exterior of library facilities as “free speech areas.” These areas may be used for petition activity, campaigning or other free speech activities. Staff at each library does and will assist individuals or groups with locating and using these areas.

The City of San Antonio is committed to providing petition-gatherers and any other group exercising First Amendment rights with the same access to designated spaces and in a manner that does not impede or prohibit patrons’ use of those facilities.


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