To Tree or Not To Tree?

Like it or not, the holiday season is upon us.  Whether you’re a Grinch or a Cindy Lou Who, you undoubtedly have a festive song stuck in your head and are seriously considering purchasing at least one Ugly Christmas Sweater.  I hesitate to use the word ‘Christmas,’ as the word is anything but all-inclusive. Holiday traditions can be wonderful, positive activities and events, but only for those that participate.  This leads me to the topic of this column today: As a publicly funded institution, is it okay to represent Christmas in our building?

Maybe.  Distancing myself from the actual job and having a straightforward ethical discussion among colleagues, my answer would be “no” to putting up a Christmas tree in our library.  If “Libraries are for Everyone” as the talking point suggests, and not everyone celebrates Christmas, ol’ tannenbaum may not be the most welcoming site. But actually working here, where traditions are held dear in a small village, the answer isn’t that simple.  We strive to be a reflection of the community, and if we are a community that predominantly celebrates Christmas, we should put up a tree. So what’s more important, the potential alienation of a few or the happiness of the majority?

What I’m trying to say is that yes, we have Christmas decorations in our library, and yes, a lot of thought was put into it.  Whether we will continue this tradition in the future remains to be seen, but if they do, you can rest assured that the decision was once again not made lightly.  

The original intent of this column was to advertise our Wish Tree, where patrons can sponsor specific donations to the library, like books, games, and robot accessories.  Regardless of your personal beliefs, Wish Tree donations will have a positive and lasting effect on our community well beyond the holiday season. Thanks for reading!

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