BONNERS FERRY, Idaho — Kimber Glidden, the former director of the Boundary County Library, is speaking out about the harassment and threats she had to deal with and what pushed her to resign.
She said back in February, a woman asked if the library carried the book 'Gender Queer.' They didn't.
The mom was outraged when Glidden told her she would help someone get the book if they wanted to read it. Another family told her they didn't want pornography or pedophilia in the library.
"And I'm like, 'Well can you show me the materials that you're concerned about.' Well you don't have any materials," Glidden told the audience Thursday night inside the downtown Spokane library.
The anger toward her continued to escalate over the next few months.
"And the labeling starts," Glidden said. "'You're grooming children. There's pornography in the library. How dare you."
"And now people are showing up armed, open carry state," Glidden continued. "So, you've got to carry a gun to the library in the children's department? Our library doesn't have any of the books, well except for now 'Who was Frederick Douglass'."
Library board meetings soon became filled with armed citizens, convinced Glidden had an agenda and was harming kids.
"It was getting to the point where I couldn't do my job anymore," Glidden said. "They take over boards. They've taken over school boards, hospital boards, library boards. This is happening across the country."
Glidden resigned this August. Three other employees left with her.
She's not the first librarian to face threats and likely won't be the last. She says communities, especially smaller ones, need to support their libraries and fight censorship.
"Having access to information is not dangerous," Glidden said. "Not having access to information or restricted access, that's what tyranny does. That's not democracy."
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