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Benedict Option Kids’ Libraries?

A reader saw this post of mine about Drag Queen Story Hour, and the Great Awokening at US libraries, and wrote:

I’m wondering if there might soon be space for alternative libraries to pop up. Community or church run.

That’s a great idea, actually. It would be really hard to start and run a full-service library, but that wouldn’t actually be needed, would it? The problem is not in the books libraries provide to adults, but rather to children and minors. Why couldn’t churches within a specific community pool their resources and open a children’s library where parents didn’t have to worry about their children being propagandized by Wokeness — especially on gender and sexuality? Offer a wide range of quality books from all eras, curated according to traditional moral standards? It would be the kind of place where a mom or dad would feel completely comfortable allowing their kids to roam through the stacks in search of something new to read that’s not Pregnant Butch, which was recommended by a workshop leader at the American Library Association annual conference, and without having to put up with the sexual grooming pageant that is Drag Queen Story Hour.

In my city, we are avid users of our local library system, which so far has kept wokeness to a minimum. But then, I live in one of the most conservative cities of its size in the country. Even then, I know this isn’t going to last. If we lived in almost any other part of the US, we would have a big problem on our hands.

Why not let’s do this? Stocking and maintaining a Children’s Library would be a costly endeavor. Surely, though in bigger cities there are megachurches who have the resources to do this, especially if they pool them. Ask families of means to pay an annual user fee, if you like, but keep it free for poor and working-class people.

What do you think? Can we do this?

UPDATE: According to a reader who has had a lot of trouble trying to navigate her local library with her children, some people are already doing this. The reader writes:

I’ve learned that there is a very small but active renaissance of private children’s lending libraries, largely among the homeschool crowd. They’re often called “Living Books Libraries.” A list of some of them is right here. Your readers may be interested. This link offers a “start a library” DVD seminar from one of the older and most successful of the living libraries.

Churches! Moms, dads, let’s do this! Let’s not just complain about how toxic our public libraries have become; let’s create something new and beautiful for our kids.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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