ST. FRANCIS, Wis. — Drive around the city and you’ll likely see many houses and buildings decorated for the holidays. But the St. Francis Library is not one of them.
Recently the library has come under fire for a decision to not put up Christmas decorations or hold a holiday party.
“The library board supported the move to seasonal decorations and dropping the holiday party at their last meeting,” Library Director Amy Krahn said. “We are confident that our library patrons will recognize that we offer and will continue to offer valuable resources and programming to the community.”
A number of aldermen are not too sure.
Alderman Ken Tutaj said he was upset by the decision. Alderman Ray Klug also expressed his feelings against the choice not to decorate.
“I can’t believe we’re going to argue about Christmas,” he said.
Instead of hosting the holiday party, the library is planning to offer a “luau event” Jan. 27, 2018, which will feature Hawaiian group Oceans 3, Krahn said.
“The goal is to continue to add more unique and diverse programming,” she said.
Alderman Michael McSweeney, who serves on the library board, said during the Nov. 28 common council meeting that the board chose to go with “winter decorations” instead of a Christmas theme. He said the library is still doing a number of holiday-themed events.
During the Nov. 28 common council meeting, a number of residents spoke out against the decision, saying Santa Claus isn’t necessarily a religious symbol and citing how the civic center was decorated so the library should be as well.
The city’s beautification committee is responsible for civic center decorations, as well as those on others on city streets. Carol Wojtecki, the chairwoman of the committee, said the city should be involved in the decision not to decorate the library.
McSweeney pointed out there was no Easter party this year and no decorations, but there wasn’t as much outcry as there was with this situation.
In the St. Francis Town Hall Facebook group, Krahn said the reason behind the decision is twofold. First, she said the library is putting resources toward other activities and programs. Secondly, she said the library’s mission is “to provide neutral and equal access to resources and programming in a welcoming environment. That…