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Letter to the Editor: A Librarian’s Story

Last updated on April 3, 2023

At one point I worked at the Macon County Public Library, and at one point that was in the children’s section.
As you know, a lot of things are going on around that area. I am simply writing because I keep hearing the subject of “keeping our children safe.” Which lately, that is from books.

During my time at that library, my child found not one but two needles right outside the side door of the children’s department. The first incident to any mother’s horror, my child touch that needle. I had to wait six months, the longest six months of my life, for a blood test to make sure he was ok. Which, thank god he is. The second time he knew well enough not to touch it.

So imagine this, every morning I would walk the grassy part of the library outside, particularly the area by the greenway, to make sure no other needles were found, especially by children. We at the library, repeatedly asked the county to install camera’s outside as a safety precaution.  To which, as far as I know, the library still has no camera’s. The first needle incident was 3 years ago by the way.

One morning I came to work and there was a homeless man sleeping right outside the door. There was a period of time when people living in cars would use the library’s parking lot to live. One of which, had a 3 year old boy.

Staff has helped pregnant and drugged addicted people get food, shelter, and just assistance.
All the while, patrons were asking me if I purchased books “sexualizing children”…..
A question which will never cease to amaze me.

I won’t dwell too long on the fact that you can or cannot check out that book that you don’t agree with. Just like the fact that my kids will never read such a “wholesome” book like, The Secret Garden because the “N” is still mentioned numerous times. Or The Little House on the Prairie, where “the only good Indian is a dead Indian.”

However, I will absolutely call out the hypocrisy of certain people in the community trying to “save our children” from the horrendous books of kids accepting themselves for who they are. When my kid found needles outside the library, NOTHING happened. If anyone thinks that books are more of a threat than the crap you can find on the greenway, so close to where children are. Then please readjust your priorities.


  1. Jennifer Jennifer April 1, 2023

    Great letter! I moved here several years ago from near the Mexican border. The drugs and homelessness here are far worse than any place I have ever lived, even near Mexico.
    Have you noticed that the only books people claim that sexualize children are all LGBTQ topics? I find that amusing. If these people actually bothered to read any of the SciFi or YA fantasy novels, they just might freak out. LOL!

  2. Nathan Richardson Nathan Richardson April 1, 2023

    Thank you for pointing out yet another hazard of the libraries. You are right, needles are terrible and certainly a threat to our children even more so than propaganda being spread by a small number of staff. Perhaps if the county removes itself from the Fontana System some of these needs can be better addressed locally instead of inside a bureaucracy such as the FRL. The FRL can’t pay their employees enough despite the huge amounts of funding, and large bank accounts, so I would think they cannot prioritize cameras if they do not even want their staff to earn a livable wage.

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