Pine Knoll Shores, N.C.

Oct.24, 2020


Who put the military in the dumpster?

Lesley Mason, director of the Carteret County PUBLIC Library, did. The only copy in the County’s Library system of Stephen Ambrose’s “Citizen Soldiers“ was found in the dumpster beside the Bogue Banks Library on October 18, 2020. "One of the most articulate and informed historians writing today, Stephen Ambrose has distilled in brilliant clarity the essence of the American character that helped to preserve global freedom. Without doubt, his book will enthrall every veteran, scholar and general reader." (From It is still in good condition, no broken spine, no water damage.

Then on October 23 in the same dumpster was Cornelius Ryan’s “The Longest Day.” The academy award winning movie of the same name was based on this book. It was also in good condition. This time the books were in black contractor bags, perhaps in an attempt to hide the dirty deed.

Ms Mason might argue that if it has not been checked out in the last year, it should be weeded. How convenient that the electronic records have been purged from the system so this cannot be checked. In any case, I would think classics should stay in the collection. But if not, why the dumpster?

I am the widow of a Vietnam veteran. I am first cousin to a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross. I am the niece of the ensign who, while serving on the USS Seawolf in World War II, took the first photograph through a periscope that documented the sinking of a Japanese ship. I am related to many more veterans in my family tree including my sixth great grandfather Ebenezer Walden, who fought in the Revolutionary War. I am appalled.

This is only the tip of the iceberg of the military books found in dumpsters across Carteret County. Does Ms. Mason have any idea how many residents of Carteret County are connected to the military in some way?

As we approach Veteran’s Day, Ms. Mason owes an apology to our veterans and all those currently serving.


(7) comments


The Carteret County public school system and the County Public Library announced Oct 17th they are partnering to support students’ ongoing education with an initiative that will allow students to use their student identification numbers to borrow library materials.

Looks like students will miss a couple of military books.


It’s a shame that anybody would throw out any books that represents the brave fighting men and women of this country who put their lives on the line for the freedom that we possess. Those books describe what it was like to be on the front lines. Granted it’s nothing at all compared to being on the front lines with no clue if you were going to come home alive. A lot of people have relatives and friends who paid the ultimate price in each war/conflict this country has been in and those books are all that is left to pass their stories along. If the library doesn’t want those books anymore, donate them.

David Collins

Sure sounds like a directed effort to “ ban “ certain books that do not measure up to a certain agenda . Never have known any people in the library science dept. to be particularly conservative . More of the changing of America ?

Always A Teacher

Why put these books in a landfill? Why not offer a FREE day/table outside the library for people to pick up the books? It would not have to be manned by anyone, just have the books there for the taking. No brainer.


Actually, Teach, that would have been the best idea. Maybe someone will read this and "just do it".


A high school library couldn't use these books? How about CCC? Something needs to change & fast.


I will take all the books they want to discard. Our library here would love to have these books. I will give a good home to all of them.

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