Here’s a great example of the chaos the right wing has brought down upon us, local libraries.
Residents of a small Iowa town criticized their library’s LGBTQ staff and their displaying of LGBTQ-related books until most of the staff quit. Now, the town’s library is closed for the foreseeable future.
After having the same library director for 32 years, the Vinton Public Library can’t seem to keep the position filled anymore. Since summer 2021, the Vinton Public Library has gone through two permanent directors and an interim director who has served in that role twice.
Located about 40 miles northwest of Cedar Rapids, the doors of the Vinton Public Library—housed in a brick and stone Carnegie—have been open to the public since 1904, but were shuttered on Friday, July 8, while the Vinton Library Board tries to sort out staffing issues seemingly brought on by local dalliances with the national culture wars.
It comes after a handful of locals whipped up a controversy first over the library displaying books about prominent Democrats, and later about it displaying LGBTQ books and having LGBTQ people on staff.
See? All it takes is a handful of local assholes to deprive an entire community of a valuable resource. Notice that the incident initially prompting this problem was displaying books about Democrats, which, last I heard, was still a legal political party.
I read through quite a few articles on this subject, and noticed a curious thing: while defenders of the library were named, none of the names of the people are brought up. All it is is librarians and others announcing that they can’t take it anymore, that they have to resign and get out of this sick town. At best we see phrases like “a handful of locals”.
Who are they? There has been an effective policy of harassment and abuse that has decimated the staff and made it impossible to keep the library open. GODDAMN IT, NAME THEM. This is asymmetric warfare where the oppressive forces get to thrive in concealment, an anonymity maintained by the media, while they get to assail the civic infrastructure. There is a serious problem flourishing in Vinton, Iowa, and everyone is pretending that the closure just happened passively. No. It was a targeted attack. Somebody organized it. Someone made harassing phone calls, or wrote abusive letters to the editor of the local paper, or denied employees service at the grocery store or pharmacy or whatever.
In the absence of any clarity here, I guess I’m just going to assume it was some vile conservative church. They’re usually the ones trying to impose their will on small towns. Given that Vinton, Iowa has a population of about 5,000, like Morris, and has at least 14 churches, I think that’s a safe bet.