Talk about really loving libraries! Romance novelist Nora Roberts donated $50,000 to Patmos Library in Jamestown Township, Michigan, after the library was defunded by the community in early August over LGBTQ-themed books. The donation pushed the cumulative total raised by two GoFundMe campaigns to more than $245,000—the amount the library was expected to lose next year due to the loss of taxpayer funding.
On August 2, an operating millage that provides 84% of Patmos Library’s annual budget was defeated. Without the $245,000 the millage provides annually, the library was expected to have to close by the fall of 2023. The campaign against the library was organized by community members upset by LGBTQ-themed graphic novels in the library, including Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe, Kiss Number 8 by writer Colleen AF Venable and illustrator Ellen T. Crenshaw, and Spinning by Tillie Walden. The library refused to remove the books but did move Gender Queer behind the counter so patrons would have to request it.
In a comment left on the GoFundMe page which Roberts contributed to, the bestselling author of more than 225 novels under her own name and the pseudonym J.D. Robb, wrote that she would have donated more, but “50k is the limit GoFundMe allows for donations. If you’re short of your goal, please contact me. I’ll make up the rest.”
Roberts has sold more than 500 million books worldwide. She has donated more than $50 million to various causes, including through the Nora Roberts Foundation, which supports literacy, children’s programs, the arts, and humanitarian efforts.