There’s a video of a single burning book on the Book Burning Party Facebook page with the caption: “Imagine this times 200,000. How cool is that?” http://bit.ly/q3c9SR
So. Not. Cool.
I couldn’t even watch the whole video … and it’s only very brief.
I’m pretty much completely exhausted by the fight to save the library. But I have a sick sense of humor that seems to ratchet up when I’m tired, so, ironically, I’ve been rolling with the strangeness of this whole “campaign” pretty well. Maybe it’s just an innate coping mechanism, but I see it as satire. It’s sort of creative (in a sick way, I know!) and I’m drawn like a moth to a flame (pun intended because I really do have a sick sense of humor) to that page to see what will be posted there next.
Enter the image of the book burning. It’s sickening. Truly. I am not laughing.
Maybe it’s this image that has me unable to sleep. It certainly is disturbing. But, of course, the books won’t be burned on August 5th if the millage fails. They will be safely tucked on the shelves after being inventoried and then the shelves will be shrinkwrapped. And the lights will be turned off. The staff that remains will move on to jobs where communities who pass millages to save their libraries will gladly hire them because they all once worked at a nationally recognized library. The doors will be locked. And the Troy Public Library will cease to make its databases, its computers, it’s research wisdom and its books accessible to anyone.
A boarded up, shrink-wrapped, moth-balled library. Yeesh. This image is equally disturbing to me.
So maybe it’s the combined images that have me awake. Both are truly terrible thoughts. But, honestly, there’s another very troubling reality. The extreme anti-taxers who are coming out in full-force – complete with their very effective propaganda pieces sent to businesses and residents – to campaign against the millage. Cities all around us have passed their library millages while Troy in all of its Somerset Mall splendor has a contingent of belligerent anti-tax-no-matter-what politicians taking control of the election message with an untrue “the money is there” message. They claim they still want a library, but some of us remember they didn’t speak so kindly about even having a library last fall. So there’s the image of our Library along with The League of Women Voters, the Troy School Board, the Troy Chamber of Commerce, Troy Residents Unified for a Strong Troy … they have all come out with their polite endorsements. Yet it’s like a bad dream where they are trying to be heard as everyone goes on summer vacations, takes evening walks, and mows their lawns, indifferent and oblivious to the “noise" unless it's coming from the TCU.
And there ya have it … the reason for my sleeplessness … the trifecta of horrible library images, starting with a video of a burning book. Gulp and sigh. Who can sleep through this nightmare?