They Want to Kill Libraries

The Last Place in America Where You Are a Person, Not a Customer

A member of the SA throws confiscated books into the bonfire during the public burning of “un-German” books on the Opernplatz in Berlin.

In August, a small group of vocal, angry Idahoans targeted the Boundary County Library, demanding that the library purge 300 books on a list of “inappropriate” materials that circulates widely among right-wing conspiracy groups.

Boundary County Library didn’t have the books that the conspiracy theorists were angry about. Nevertheless, the group harassed and threatened the library staff, demanded the removal of the library board, and continued to target library staff even after they quit their jobs.

These conspiracists are part of a small but vocal minority of people who’ve been hoaxed by deep-pocketed right-wing media barons, who have propagated a lie that libraries are full of “groomers” who expose children to “inappropriate” materials as part of a program of sexual abuse.

Every accusation is a confession. The upper ranks of evangelicals and the Catholic Church are filled with pedophile abusers; as is the slate of MAGA election candidates.

The “groomer” panic is all astroturf. It’s a cynical ploy to whip up scared and easily confused people and point them at libraries, and not just libraries that have Genderqueer on the shelf or host Drag Queen Story Hours. They’re targeting all the libraries.

They’re targeting the very idea of libraries.

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