While watching the 6 p.m. broadcast of the TV6 local news on Monday, Oct. 1, we were saddened, but not surprised by the story featuring the Escanaba Public Library. As lifelong residents of Delta County we have had occasion to use the library's services and for some time we were quite satisfied and even supportive of them. We bought their shopping bags and attended and promoted their annual book sale to help them raise necessary funds.
Then a couple of years ago my wife and I donated a couple of boxes of books because we were moving; most of them unread. We didn't think much of it at the time, but we can see now why those books never made it to the shelves. All those books encouraged self-improvement, honesty, integrity, and character. Although none of them were repeats of what currently sat on the shelves there, and despite the fact that they were in pristine shape, none of them were ever made available to the public.
The following year we offered to provide the library with complimentary subscriptions to Creation magazine, a magazine focusing on science and nature from a creation standpoint rather than an evolutionary one, and Imprimus, a leaflet published by Hillsdale College that has over 2 million readers and covers a vast array of governmental and humanitarian topics from a conservative point of view. After months of delay, we were finally informed by Ms. Stacy that those "publications didn't fit with the library's objectives." That was a real eye-opener, "library's objectives?" you mean the library's agenda, right. The library has no problem representing the secular side of science and the liberal side of politics in the publications it chooses to carry.
If we had any doubts left, they were erased by Monday's news story telling us that the library is featuring a contest and display of banned and challenged books. Monique Coifu proudly told the reporter that "If people don't like them, they can choose not to look." Brilliantly put, Ms. Coifu. If only there were such an attitude of tolerant inclusion concerning those who would choose to peruse and consume conservative and Christian based perspectives that apparently are so incompatible with the library's "objectives."
If any of you are wondering why the library seems to be struggling financially and always in need of a millage increase, or another fundraiser, perhaps its time to look at the way the place is run. Maybe if people felt all sides were represented there, and that they could find things that relate to their interests, they would support the library. We don't think it has to be a dying entity, but something tells us that the current leadership would rather die slowly while sticking to their agenda, than take a chance on growing again if it means they run the risk of empowering and educating the masses that might dare to see things differently than they do.