Thursday, April 13, 2023

BTRTN, The Wendy Rant: On the Llano County Library Closures

We introduce "The Wendy Rant," which will be an occasional feature when Wendy reads something so absurd that she simply must vent her frustration at the state of the world.

Many years ago, I was given a button that said, "Ignore your rights and they'll go away."  The button was distributed by Planned Parenthood, and boy oh boy did they get that right.  The words on the button apply to so much that's happening now that we may not have enough fingers to plug the holes in the dike.  In their infinite wisdom, today the trustees of the The Llano County Library system, about 75 miles outside of Austin, Texas, will vote on whether or not to close the doors of its three libraries. If this motion passes, former library patrons in this rural community will no longer have ANY access to digital materials, meeting spaces and BOOKS in their public libraries!  This decision followed a judge's ruling that the library had to return to the shelves books it had previously censored.  Titles included Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, Maurice Sendak's In the Night Kitchen, and It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex and Sexual Health

There are others, but I cite these three because I've read them.  Caste, by Isabel Wilkerson, was described by The New York Times as "an instant American classic." It's written for adults, who presumably can make their own decisions about it or of course, not read it at all if they don't wish, so why would it be banned? I found it to be enlightening.  If you ever read In the Night Kitchen to your children, you're probably madly googling it now to try to figure out what the heck is going on.  I have an old copy of It's Perfectly Normal in our basement which I read with my daughters when they were children.  Seemed like a great supplement to our discussions at the time, and I'm sure the updated version is even better.  A lot of the other banned books, with which I'm not familiar, apparently contain the word "fart."  Puerile, maybe?  Yes, but after all, these books were written for kids, and what could be better than making a child giggle while learning to appreciate reading?   

Rather than make these books accessible to readers, the trustees are considering closing the libraries.  Closing them.  Not in China.  Or Russia.  Or North Korea.  In the United States of America.  Maybe they'll backpedal and the libraries will remain open.  But just the fact that this is up for discussion should be a noisy reminder not to ignore your rights. 



  1. To be a true rant the admonition should be in all caps, to wit, DO NOT IGNORE YOUR RIGHTS

  2. Next they'll be burning the books, a la Nazi's technique, to make sure that they can't be read. Insanity rules today!

  3. Texas elections report shows voter engagement among the population of 21,978 (2021).
    2020 general 16,688 registered 13,278 voted 79.57%
    2022 general 17,557 registered 11,029 voted 62.82%

    Results are troubling:
    2020 TRUMP/PENCE (I) REP 10,079 79.61%
    2022 GREG ABBOTT (I) REP 8,977 81.39%

    MAYBE the actions of the County Commission will help clarify what is being supported, and some voters will break away from the consensus.


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