The video, posted by a man of himself in an argument with an Oswego librarian over its mask policy, recently caught the attention of actor George Takei.
George Takei shared with his 8.9 million Facebook followers on Wednesday, January 26, this article in which a local man films himself in a confrontation with an elderly librarian over the Oswego Library's mask policy.
Takei captioned the video, "Not today, Satan!"
The video had previously been picked up by the Twitter account, Patriot Takes and had gone viral. Patriot Takes captioned the video with the following, "Illinois librarian holds her ground as an antimasker films himself throwing a tantrum after being asked to wear a mask."
At the time of this writing, the video has garnered 4.1 million views.
In the video, the librarian can be seen calmly explaining to the man the library's mask policy. He responds, "I just want to take a video and ask why you won't let me sign up, this is your choice to do, this is serious."
The man continues, "I am here, with my daughter, we just want to use the library, that we have a right to use. You guys won't let us do this because I am not putting a mask on."
She again repeats the library policy. He tells her she is making a "personal choice," and eventually appears to leave the library as the video ends.
The Oswego Public Library currently requires that patrons wear face masks in the building. However, the library offers curbside pickup and online library services to anyone who can't or won't wear a mask.
This was not the first incident involving mask protests and libraries in the Chicago area. The St. Charles Library closed for in-person services following an incident on January 18 when 30 to 40 unmasked people marched inside the library's youth services department.
In a statement, the St. Charles Library said the following,
"We certainly hear the frustration of our community members, and we understand that the mandate requirements have been difficult for many. However, we are a unit of government and are required to follow Governor Pritzker's mask mandate. During this challenging time, we strive to continue to provide services to patrons, including our drive-up window, virtual services, and research and reading services are available via phone, email and chat. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this unprecedented time."
The statement continued by listing examples of the sort of threatening messages the librarians have received:
- “They don’t even know what a threat to safety is yet.”
- “These people need to be shown what an actual ambush looks like.”
- “Now the battle begins! Go get them.”
- “I may start walking into the library without a mask, just to harass (staff).”
- “Watch out - we’re coming!”
- “…Show up 100 deep within 30 minutes…”
- “Freedom rules. You guys are going to go down.”
According to the St. Charles Public Library's website the library remains closed for indoor services, "The Library is working toward reopening as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience and understanding. The Library will reopen as soon as we finalize the hiring of additional security services."
The Oswego Public Library remains open but does offer curbside services.
The state of Illinois currently remains under a public indoor mask mandate.
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