COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — A book-hiding patron of the Coeur d'Alene Library is receiving more national attention – this time, from late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert.
Since August 2018, someone has been intentionally misplacing books around the library with the apparent hope of making the titles unavailable to readers. The hidden books are mostly non-fiction works that are critical of President Trump, according to library director Bette Ammon. Other titles included books about feminism and LGBTQ topics.
After KREM first reported on the incidents in September, word of the situation has prompted donations, and reached readers and librarians across the United States. The New York Times also interviewed Ammon on the matter and published a story of its own.
Colbert told the book-hider's story on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" right after taking a playful dig at Coeur d'Alene, saying people may know the city as "the home of the Museum of North Idaho." A video of the segment has nearly 1.5 million views on YouTube.
“Here’s what’s crazy – these books aren’t being stolen. They’re being hidden in places throughout the library," he said. "This jerk is taking library books and putting them back in the wrong place, so clearly the suspect is anyone who’s ever used a library.”
A note from the patron that KREM reported on in September reads, "I noticed a large volume of books attacking our president. I am going to continue hiding these books in the most obscure places I can find to keep this propaganda out of the hands of young minds. Your liberal angst gives me great pleasure."
Colbert wasted no time mentioning this, too, saying that the patron is not creating liberal angst but is instead making the librarian's job harder.
"In the ranking of library villains, you’re just below the toddler pooping in the puppet nook," he said.
A recent story from The New York Times says that one of the hidden books is "Whose Boat is This?," a satirical picture book compiled by "The Late Show" staff and attributed to Trump. The book is made of quotations from the president in the wake of Hurricane Florence and "demonstrates what not to say after a natural disaster," according to its description.
Proceeds from the book are donated to World Central Kitchen, which provides meals in the wake of natural disasters. Colbert joked that the unavailability of the books in the library will prompt people to purchase it instead.
“While I am still very angry, thank you," he added.
Colbert also presented what a large copy of the book on air, which he called "unhideable." He then signed it, adding that he and his staff even outfitted it with anti-theft garment tags for extra protection.
We suppose we'll have to wait and see if the giant book appears at the Coeur d'Alene Library.