Dear Editor:I am writing in response to the recent backlash that letters written to our library board from concerned citizens, Brooke Kruckenberg and Deb Hesson, have received.As a racial minority raising a multi-racial family in a community where racial minorities make up less than 5% of the population, I know firsthand the desire for diversity, inclusion, and representation. But when we think about diversity, it will inherently include people and beliefs we may not agree with. I've read both letters from Brooke Kruckenberg and Deb Hesson, and they do not ask for books to be banned or even removed from displays. In fact, they are actually asking for more diversity in the books that are prominently displayed to include books reflecting their religious beliefs. They are also not asking that certain books are not read during storytime but instead are requesting to simply know ahead of time what books may be read so that they can make informed decisions for their family, just like we would preview ahead of time what our children watch on T.V., at the movie theater, or engage in on the internet. This is not censorship but wise parenting. Publically villainizing and condemning these women for their religious beliefs is very counterintuitive to the message of diversity and inclusion.Sincerely,Malea Lee


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KG May 25, 2022, 5:35 pm I agree 100% with you Malea. Well said.
JS May 26, 2022, 10:17 pm Well written. Go girl.
CG May 26, 2022, 10:26 pm You mustn’t forget the initial direct comments targeting specific staff members and implying the books were part of a quiet agenda.

Those hurtful and direct comments along with the book censorship requests speak in direct opposition of what a public library provides for an entire community for all people.
DC May 27, 2022, 1:16 pm The educational system is a prime example of how certain agendas are put in place. They wrote the playback on these things.

Dave Coots
CC May 27, 2022, 4:28 pm I echo what Marc commented....

The letters targeting specific staff members and implied that they have a "Liberal Agenda." In my opinion their letters were hurtful and disrespectful the staff's hard work.

How would you feel if someone went to your supervisor and accused you of having ulterior motives for the way you are doing your job? I doubt anyone would enjoy that.

And if all they wanted was more diversity, why did Brooke point out in her letter "that a majority of staff are openly a part of the LGBTQ community." Seems like they would be very open to having that group represented then.

Pointing out the staff's sexual orientation also seems pretty irrelevant if all they are trying to do is know the titles of the books at story time. Why not just go in and say.... "Hey can you please publish the names of the stories you'll be reading at story time?" and leave it at that.

Words have consequences. We should all choose them carefully.
MD May 28, 2022, 9:57 am I do not typically comment on things like this, because the last time I did, I received an email asking me where I was at with my faith. (Which by the way…I’m good with where I am at with my faith.) This whole thing would not have been a big deal if it would have simply been about the books. Unfortunately, the portion of the letter that talked of the employees is what did it for me. Words hurt. The employees are hurt. Their families are hurt. This was not the way to go about it at all.
VS July 15, 2022, 2:46 pm In the children's section, there are 3 books with any mention of LGBTQ in their titles. There are 173 with Christian themes. In other words, their beliefs are over-represented, unless their goal is the eradication of any book that doesn't harmonize with their personal religious beliefs. Is that what they're advocating for?
SS July 15, 2022, 10:18 pm I've worked in a library for 10 years. Now your library has closed. How does it feel to have this kind of impact on your community? Are you proud of this accomplishment? People quitting and moving away for jobs in areas more inclusive. Is all this worth it? No more children to see the 3 or 4 books of inclusion versus the 130+ Christian themed ones. It seems like the "agenda" was on your part.
BK July 16, 2022, 10:31 am In my view the writer is misguided or understating the situation. It is not diverse or inclusive to exclude others. I remind you of what she allegedly said to single out LGBTQ people according to another news outlet:
At a meeting in March, Vinton resident Brooke Kruckenberg argued that, “It appears that there is a slow, quiet agenda moving into our local library culture through the staff hiring decisions and the books that have crept in our children’s section of the library. I don’t believe the library is representing our town well with hiring a majority of staff who are openly a part of the LGBTQ community.”
MJ July 17, 2022, 8:18 pm Kruckenberg seems awfully selfish not making room for LGBTQ that work at a library. How is it there are too many gay people working there? What does that even mean? Is there a quota or a limit?