Since its creation in 2015, Drag Queen Storytime or Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH), as the official organization calls it, has gained as much negative attention as it has positive among library patrons and community members.. In 2019, 30 challenges were reported to the OIF for Drag Queen Storytimes and other Pride related events. But there are many Drag Queen Storytime fans and advocates out there as well, with LGBT-friendly churches stepping in to host events when libraries no longer can, to people coming to these events to show their love and support in the face of angry protesters. And while these programs tend to draw in big crowds because they are fun, they also have educational benefits as well.
If your library were faced with an intellectual freedom challenge, would your board have your back? The United For Libraries President’s Program for ALA Annual Conference 2021, “Challenges & Crises: Preparing Your Board of Trustees,” delivered earned wisdom and practical tips to ensure your library board is willing and prepared to uphold intellectual freedom. Read on to learn how your library board can turn a library challenge into an opportunity for community recharge.
Long banished are the images of the library as a stuffy and sedate place where any utterance above a whisper was met with swift opprobrium. Shushes and scowls from curmudgeon librarians ready to revoke your borrowing privileges. Very much far from that staid stereotype, libraries have become fortresses of acceptance and forthright with welcoming upright and raucous revelry within their aisles. And nothing encapsulates this veering toward the vivacious than the wildly successful Drag Queen Story Hours.
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Dwindling local school budgets, increasing technology, and conflicting values can all contribute to the elimination of public and school librarian positions. However, these positions are critical to maintain in order to preserve principles of intellectual freedom in schools and in society.
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