Libraries. They've been a part of society since as early as 2600 BC.  They've certainly evolved over the years, but the simple fact remains libraries are an important and necessary part of a functioning, literate society.

The first library in America opened in 1731 spearheaded by Benjamin Franklin.  The first library in Montana opened in the late 1800's.  Lewis & Clark Library in Last Chance Gulch opened in 1868, and evolved into Montana's first free public library in 1886.  Paris Gibson and his wife, Valeria, were instrumental in the opening of the public library in Great Falls in 1890.

Check out the evolution of our Great Falls Library:

Great Falls
Great Falls

Originally known as the Valeria Library.  This picture is from 1910.

This is the Carnegie Library around 1910

Our modern library in Great Falls.  It's an amazing place.  And mostly due to this lady:

This is Alma Jacobs.  Head librarian in Great Falls for nearly 20 years, then became state librarian in 1973.  To talk about Alma and her influence on our community is a completely different article.

What Exactly Is A Library

From the American Library Association:

A library is a collection of resources in a variety of formats that is (1) organized by information professionals or other experts who (2) provide convenient physical, digital, bibliographic, or intellectual access and (3) offer targeted services and programs (4) with the mission of educating, informing, or entertaining a variety of audiences (5) and the goal of stimulating individual learning and advancing society as a whole.

And the best part is, ANYONE can use a library for FREE.  Need wifi, to do research, quiet reading, studying, a family afternoon of learning and fun?  You can find it at the library, and often absolutely free of charge.

A New Disturbing Trend In America, Montana and Great Falls

At this time in America, bigotry seems to be the "in thing" for a certain part of the population.  Due to this hate for anything different, libraries are taking hits all over the country.  And it's all due to transgender Americans and Drag performers reading books to kids.

This is absolutely astonishing to me.  The fear of anything or anyone different.  The pushing of personal beliefs on the general population.  The cutting of funds for one of the most needed, fundamental spaces in the world simply because they allow transgender citizens or Drag performers, that are American citizens, to be themselves and read books to kids.  Books that highlight individuality and acceptance.  Books that get kids to want to read books for themselves.  It's just gross.

This is what you see at any given time in Great Falls:

Canva//Tammie Toren
Canva//Tammie Toren

First, don't get me wrong.  Protest until you're blue.  I don't care AT ALL.

However, I find it ironic that "No Tax Increase" is on the billboards, yet they PAID FOR A BILLBOARD.  The proposed cost to a taxpayer with a $200,000 home in Great Falls is $40.50 a year or $3.375 a month.  How much was that billboard?  A thousand bucks then a monthly fee?

This group would deny our population a world class library just because they don't want transgender Montana citizens and Drag performers reading books to kids.

How about something less CRAZY, RADICAL and BIGOTED?  Keep your kids at home. It's as simple as that.

Up until a couple of years ago, my favorite thing about living in Montana was the live and let live mentality.  You want to dress like a pelican and run around on frozen lakes while belting out showtunes?  Whatever floats your boat, buddy.  Just leave me out of it.  I hate showtunes.  The live and let live thing was the best part of us.

I'm tired of watching Montana change into a judgemental state where radical people try to impose THEIR WILL on MY LIFE.  Don't send your kids to drag queen story hour.  That leaves more room for my kids.

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