An Idaho library patron is apparently disappointed with the Coeur d’Alene Public Library’s selection of books on politics. That person has been removing anti-Donald Trump books and books about traditionally liberal causes from the shelves and hiding them in obscure corners of the library, The Couer d’Alene Press reports.
The patron is also bragging about his antics on comment cards. As is the case with many public libraries, the library in the Idaho city of about 51,000 people has a system that allows patrons to express their opinions about the library’s books, its services, or the patrons’ general thoughts, on anonymous comment cards.
Library Director Bette Ammon said she received an anonymous comment card in which a patron took exception to the library’s collection of political books, which the patron apparently believed leaned too heavily against Donald Trump and in favor of leftist issues.
The patron admitted to moving the books to other places within the library. He also admitted to experiencing joy because of the inconvenience these actions caused the library staff.
“I noticed a large volume of Books attacking our President. I am going to continue hiding these books in the most obscure places I can find to keep this propaganda out of the hands of young minds. Your liberal angst gives me great pleasure,” the comment card said.
#TBT to our discussion of "Persuasion" and the Royal Navy at the Coeur d'Alene Public Library last July! It was a very hot day, just like today! #JaneAusten #jasnaewanid #CoeurdAlene #PNW pic.twitter.com/XEcDJm4Zkg
— JASNA_EWANID (@JASNA_EWANID) June 14, 2019
Books about the impeachment process have been moved, as have books critical of the Trump administration’s gun policies. Also having been moved are books about more traditionally “liberal” causes, such as books about white privilege, women’s voting rights, and LGBTQ issues.
Responding to the patron’s comment card, library staff wrote a response, also displayed publicly, that noted that the disappointed patron may not fully understand what is happening.
“Your library tries hard to purchase well-reviewed books on all sides and most of these books are frequently checked out and not on display,” the response reads.
Despite the patron’s declaration that he or she is taking pleasure in the staff’s “liberal angst,” what is actually happening is less “liberal angst” and more “waste of taxpayer dollars.” That is because the time spent tracking down a moved book, or replacing it, amounts to about $20 per volume.
“It’s censorship, plain and simple,” Ammon said.
Across the country, librarians at both public school libraries and public lending libraries must walk a fine line between offering an uncensored selection of volumes to their patrons while at the same time satisfying the taxpayers who support them. As The Inquisitr reports, this frequently leads to conflict, with several books such as the Harry Potter series often getting banned or challenged.