“Pretending to feel a way other than how I actually feel is not a gift God gave me” – Nadia Bolz-Weber

I am grouchy.  I am feeling overwhelmed and as I told my husband, “I can feel the fire burning,” like a volcano ready to explode.  I cannot name one reason for why I find myself in this space right now, but I can recognize a few things that might be suspect: winter, tax forms, and Missouri House Bill 2044.

Winter.  You get it; this probably needs no clarification.  I used to love winter, actually I loved snow days.  As a teacher, snow days were a treat.  I have grown to hate snow and ice.  I now can sympathize with the superintendents who had to make those snow day calls.  When the weather comes I have to think about my staff and my patrons.  When I make the call for a snow day, I don’t enjoy it, I spend the day thinking about all the people complaining.  When I don’t make the call for a snow day, I don’t enjoy it, I spend the day worrying about the safety of my staff and fretting over our sidewalks. 

Tax forms.  Tax forms are similar to the Eclipse glasses of 2017, except they are a yearly annoyance.  Paton interaction with both issues can lead a librarian to drinking.  In the patron’s defense, the fault lies elsewhere.  2 million eclipse glasses were given to 4,800 public libraries.  The problem, we were not one of the 4,800 and 215 million people observed the eclipse.  Tax forms have similar issues.  According to patrons, not only were forms available in public locations, but AARP tax preparers used to come to our library.  Neither has been available at our library since I have worked here; I started in August of 2012.  We offer to print copies of forms that you need, if you know what you need; we are librarians, not accountants.  The closest AARP tax preparers will be at the West Side Senior Center in Laurie.

Can you feel my grouchiness?

Now onto the big one, Missouri House Bill 2044 known as the Parental Oversight of Libraries bill.  Uggh, if something like this would be passed I would have to resign from my position.  I honestly believe it would be the end of the public library.  Ben Baker, Missouri State Representative for the 106th district filed this bill.  “I decided to introduce the bill after reading about what is taking place in some of the libraries in our state and other states as well. We have a situation where events and materials are being promoted by our libraries that are inappropriate for minors and disregarding dissent…However, there is an agenda by certain groups to introduce children to inappropriate adult themes using the vehicle of the tax funded library to do so and I think we need to address it. My intention is to protect our children from objectionable materials and events that are being allowed in some libraries.”

Baker has listed Drag Queen Story Times as one of the reasons for presenting this bill.  The bill reads more specific to material and that is where my fear lies.  Censorship.  This bill would directly oppose our intellectual freedom as expressed by the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and proposes a second board for libraries.  Nope, just nope. 

Yep, I am grouchy.  I thought writing about these things would cleanse my mind, not so much.  I just feel more tense and realize that by sharing I could have also kicked the hornet’s nest.  Oh, well, read that first quote again, I am not good at pretending. 

Upcoming Events: Book Club – 2/4 at 6:30pm, Story Time – 2/5 at 10:00am