After a federal judge ordered the return of more than a dozen books improperly pulled from the Llano County Public Library shelves for their content, the county's commissioners have called a special meeting for April 13 to discuss shutting the library down altogether.

According to a notice and agenda posted to the Llano County website, the Llano County Commissioners Court has set a meeting to discuss whether to “continue or cease operations of the current physical Llano County Library System,” the continued employment of library staff, and the “feasibility of the use of the library premises by the public.”

A tweet from the American Library Association's Unite Against Book Bans account shared news of the meeting, and urged local library supporters to contact their local officials to support the library and to show up to the special meeting to advocate for their library. ALA officials say Unite Against Book Bans and ALA will continue to work closely with the Texas Library Association to support "at-risk library workers" in Llano County, as well as with Texans for the Right to Read and other Texas activists "who are on the front lines of the fight to protect every person’s right to read in Llano County and across the state of Texas."

Closing the library would be an extreme reaction, notes ALA's Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.

"Rather than return twelve books to the library’s collection that reflect the lives and experiences of LGTQIA+ and BIPOC persons, the members of the Llano County Commission and its Library Board are prepared to fire the dedicated staff of the Llano County Library System and deny Llano County residents access to all the information and community services that the library staff provides," Caldwell-Stone said, "simply to prevent anyone from reading certain books that these officials don’t ever have to read."

The new developments come after a federal judge found that the library board in Llano County likely infringed the constitutional rights of readers in the community by unilaterally removing books it deemed inappropriate. In a 26-page decision, judge Robert Pitman affirmed that "the First Amendment prohibits the removal of books from libraries based on either viewpoint or content discrimination,” and found that the evidence presented in the case showed that county officials illegally "targeted and removed books, including well-regarded, prize-winning books, based on complaints that the books were inappropriate.”

Pitman issued an preliminary injunction ordering county officials not to remove any books from library shelves while the litigation is ongoing, as well as the return to the library of more than a dozen books he concluded were “removed because of their viewpoint or content.” Among those books ordered restored: Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson; They Called Themselves the K.K.K.: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group by Susan Campbell Bartoletti; Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen by Jazz Jennings; In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak; and My Butt is So Noisy! by Dawn McMillan.

The case began on April 25, 2022 after a group of local library users alleged that Llano county officials were “systematically removing award-winning books from library shelves because they disagree with the ideas within them”; that library leaders terminated the libraries' OverDrive account because county officials could not pick and choose titles available to county residents; and that the public is being improperly denied access to library board meetings.

While most of the removed books have reportedly been returned to library shelves, Llano County officials have appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to stay Pitman's injunction. A full trial is scheduled to begin in October.

Meanwhile, the court is also considering sanctioning two county officials who have refused to sit for depositions in the case. In an April 5 order, a U.S. magistrate judge ordered the two officials to attend a sanctions hearing, warning that the court was taking the plaintiffs' motion for sanctions "under advisement."