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Idaho Librarian Quits, Citing 'Extremism' Over Queer Content and More

Boundary County, Idaho Library.

A librarian in Boundary County says the community's Christian conservative extremism has made her reconsider working and living there.

In yet another instance where citizens are turning on a previously beloved institution -- the public library -- a librarian in Idaho has resigned from her position, citing an "atmosphere of extremism" over LGBTQ-related books.

The Boundary County Library has been hammered by conservative Christians complaining for months about books they don't want on the shelves. Many of those books have LGBTQ+ characters or describe sexual situations.

However, the library does not carry any of them, so library board members said it's an effort to control future acquisitions, The Spokesman-Review reports.

Kimber Glidden, the library director for Boundary County, recently announced her resignation on Facebook and criticized the growing extremism and threats. She admitted she had considered leaving the area because of the hostility she had faced.

"Nothing in my background could have prepared me for the political atmosphere of extremism, militant Christian fundamentalism, intimidation tactics, and threatening behavior currently being employed in the community," Glidden wrote in her announcement.

"Therefore it is with deepest regret that I tendering my resignation effective September 10, 2022," she concluded.

A group of parents called the Boundary County Library Board Recall launched a petition in July calling for the recall of four of the five library board members after the the board adopted a policy asserting the value of diverse materials, according to the Spokesman-Review.

Despite being hired late last year, Gidden chose to wait to leave her post until the library's budget was finalized so that her early departure would not impact funding, she told the paper.

She noted that, unlike other places where book bans have targeted materials centered around race and gender equality and identity, she saw that her library "does not have the titles that people are wanting to ban," the Spokesman-Review reports.

This is the latest in a spate of attacks on libraries and librarians, prompting either staff resignation or closure of the public institutions altogether.

For example, in Michigan, a community defunded its library, forcing concerned citizens to raise money through donations to keep it open. In Iowa, an author who wrote about different family structures, including families of divorce, families with nonbinary members, two moms or two dads, and others, was banned from shelves.

In Connecticut, a group of women claiming to be mothers took books from a library's Pride display in June and demanded from the librarian that they be burned.

In November, the American Library Association issued a press release condemning the nationwide move to censor library books. "The unfettered exchange of ideas is essential to the preservation of a free and democratic society," the association said.

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