Anyone wishing to be full of holiday cheer should avoid my library this year. Oh, I don't mean my staff isn't in the holiday spirit. We are. Quite a lot of jovial, brotherly love amongst us. And in fact, quite a bit of cheer from most of the people who come into the branch as well.
But not from the Catholic League. Because of one of their members, there are no more decorations of any kind at all in my branch. I took them all down.
Each and every single decoration. From the Kwaanza harvest display, to the Menorrahs and dreidls, to the green wreaths, Poinsettia, and Christmas Tree. It's gone.
Want to know what happened?
I'm having a pleasant day in the branch, getting all my things done, when I was paged out to the front desk.
A woman says to me, "you have to come here." And proceeds to take me over to our all inclusive holiday decorations. She then tells me she is a member of the Catholic League, and that all non-Christian displays have to come down. Mind you, she is practically quivering with fury already. And I haven't said anything yet. She says that there is a directive, which she knows all about saying that only Christian displays are allowed to be displayed. I said I'd look into it, since I have heard no such directive and if it was true, I would remove those items.
Not good enough! She demands I take them down right away. And, oh yes, informs me that she is taping every word I say. Big whoop! Since she was shouting I asked her to lower her voice, at which she snapped and demanded I call Security. Believe me, I was more than happy to do so.
She then wants the Security Officer to appear within moments. Not going to happen. They're coming from Downtown, 45 minutes away at the least.
After a few more minutes of raging at me, she demanded my card. I told her I'd be happy to give it to her and also told her she was welcome to call my supervisor on Monday. She then stormed out.
And I and my staff took down every single bit of decoration in the branch. Why, you ask? Well, you see, my community isn't only made up of Christians. In fact, quite a large number of Jewish people use my branch. And I've received more than one complement of the display this year telling me how pleased they were that we'd included them. I've also got lots of Buddhists and Hindus and Muslims who use the branch. Some of the younger Buddhist and Hindus and Muslims asked if they could be part of the tree decoration as they "wanted to be part of the fun".
The holy war has come to my doorstep. Or workstep, as it were.