You’ve got to ac-cent-uate the positive.

And I’m trying really hard, after what happened to our dear Little Free Library yesterday.

Well, the actual evil took place before that…

Monday afternoon, I got the dreaded “unexpected visitor at the door.” Being a true introvert, rather than answering the doorbell I hid upstairs and spied from a front window. I saw a mom-type person looking at our LFL. Kind of wondered why she’d come to the door, but as I was having a cozy day of hiding from the world, I didn’t investigate.

Flash forward to yesterday afternoon. When I reached into the mailbox for the day’s mail, I discovered a hand-written note.


I went out to check the library, and sure enough, the latch was indeed glued shut.

Next came rage and disgusted texts to the rest of the family, who commiserated quite satsifactorily and suggested I call our police non-emergency number. An hour later, Cody the Cute Policeman knocked on the door, looked at the damage, took the report, and gave me his card.

After supper The Husband went out with a screwdriver and box knife to pry the latch off. My hero.


Ten minutes later the library was back in business.

But…there’s still an aftermath of rage. Why? Who? What the hell is wrong with people? Who hates the idea of sharing books that much? Was it just one of the stupid masses of middle schoolers who pass by every day? I’ve caught them in other vandalism acts before. Kids who are that horrid just blow my mind.

It’s not like I’m all “Sheesh – kids these days” or anything. I work with kids that age regularly, and they’re almost universally delightful. And I know that even good kids, especially when they get caught up with a group, can do really stupid things. But this had all the appearance of malice and premeditation. How does a kid get like that? What kind of family turns out kids like that? (I know the answers to those questions, really – I’ve worked with those families. I’m just ranting here.)

Or, alternately, was it some adult with a grudge? The Husband asked me if I’ve had any inflammatory literature in the library recently. I do scan it for inappopriate books, and I haven’t even had to remove any vomitous “Christian” fiction or religious tracts recently. Yes, we do occasionally get Jehova’s Witness crap in there, and literature so obviously intended to proselytize that I have no problem tossing it. So I’m ruling out a pissed off religious nut (though that’s a good guess here in the crazy land of Kansas).

I think it’s the not knowing that bothers me the most. The anonymous, unknowable hate.

Continuing to ask those questions, continuing to rant and rage, will only make it worse.

And so I’ll force myself to “accentuate the positive.” Like that very sweet note left in our mailbox. Like the families who stop to choose books and thank us for hosting the library. Like the neighbor kids who check regularly for new finds.

That’s the only way to move forward.

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9 thoughts on “You’ve got to ac-cent-uate the positive.

  1. Your little library is a beautiful thing. Don’t let one ugly person ruin it for you and everyone else who enjoys it. There are some extremely rude and selfish people in this world, can’t avoid it. But it’s people like you who make it a better place. So yes! Accentuate the positive!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this library idea! What a great neighbor you would be. 🙂 I must ask however, why have you chosen not to have any religious material inside? I ask this because there may be many people in your area who would have an interest. What a shame though that someone evidently wanted to shut your library down. They obviously have no idea what they’re saying by doing so. The world needs more readers. More readers = more leaders. I’ll never understand the bad intentions of some people.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t take the time in this post to outline my objection to the religious material that’s often left in it – there’s so much to that explanation it would pretty much be a whole post in itself. In a nutshell, my objection has to do with the type of theology espoused in most of the religious literature left in our library. There is a great deal of theology out there that is truly damaging – full of condemnation and “wrath of God” kind of stuff, telling people that if they’re not absolutely perfect (according to a very arbitrary understanding of scripture) they’ll be going to hell. It’s often very covert, but it’s in there and no less damaging simply because it’s subtle. Having worked in ministry for so many years I’m very sensitive this issue, and I feel a responsibility not to pass on material that I feel espouses bad theology. I just refuse to be a platform for others’ proselytizing. It was a good question – thanks for asking it, and for your comment.

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      • I completely understand your point and it’s a very valid one. Unfortunately, instead of showing others love, many religious folk have turned to instilling fear in them, while constantly applying judgement, even though they themselves are not perfect either. No one is. Although I think literature of *all* types should be closely monitored and carefully chosen, if I had a little library like yours, I would certainly be on the look out for this type of religious material as well. It’s much more damaging than helpful. However, if love and good life teachings are shown in the material and it’s from a good source, then I would most likely include it. Children need positive influences in their lives, however they can get it. Thank you again for this library of yours. It truly is a wonderful idea.

        Liked by 1 person

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