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Public Libraries Exchange Friendly Fire On Twitter Over World Series

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

If you're from Queens, N.Y., one of the biggest trolls on Twitter right now might be the Kansas City Public Library. The Kansas City Royals and the New York Mets, of course, are in the World Series right now. And if fans of either team are in your social media feed, you've probably seen some trash-talking. Well, when fans of opposing teams lock horns online, it can get ugly. When public libraries go after each other, it gets literary.

LIESL CHRISTMAN: Honestly, I guess I started it.

SHAPIRO: That's Liesl Christman. She's the social media director of the Kansas City Public Library. Before game one, she tweeted at the Queens Library in New York, quote, "Look at what we've found on our shelves - #TakeTheCrown, #WorldSeries." Then she included a picture of a book titled, "The Worst Team Money Could Buy: The Collapse Of The New York Mets."

Well, Queens Library answered back with a picture of Mr. Met, the team mascot, propped on top of the book, "Fighting Words And Feuding Words." Then the tweet - Oh, it's on the KC Library - #RoyalPain, #WorldSeries, YouGottaBelieve.

And it's gone that way the entire week. Christman says it's all in good fun.

CHRISTMAN: You can call it trash-talk, but obviously if you look at the tweets we've all been putting out there, it's probably the nicest trash-talk you'll come across. It hits that sweet spot of trash-talk but in a really friendly way so people get to get engaged without the same nastiness that you get sometimes. And people don't expect to see engagement like this from their libraries. So we kind of catch them off guard. It's always fun.

SHAPIRO: Easy for her to say, her team is winning the series. Yves Etheart is a communications and editorial associate at the Queens Library. He's also Christman's Twitter frenemy. Etheart says the online taunting has not hurt library traffic either.

YVES ETHEART: For us it's all about promoting the Mets and supporting the Mets, but it's also about making sure that people know the services that Queens Library has to offer and building those connections with our community as well.

SHAPIRO: So game three is tonight in New York. The Royals have a commanding 2-games-to-none lead. Etheart seems unfazed.

ETHEART: Well, in 1986, the Mets were down in the exact same way. So like the immortal Yogi Berra said, it's like deja vu all over again. So I think the Mets are going to pull it out tonight.

CHRISTMAN: We'll see about that. (Laughter).

SHAPIRO: Whoever wins, we're sure the gloating will be civilized and, in the halls of the library, whispered. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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