Louisiana: “Mayor May Cancel Drag Queen Story Time in Lafayette Library: Report”
UPDATED October 5, 2018 Safety and Security Concerns Cause Lafayette Parish Library to Postpone First Drag Time Story Time (via KIFY) & Drag Queen Story Time Officially Postponed (via The Daily Advertiser)
UPDATED September 28, 2018 Library Moves ‘Drag Queen Story Time’ to Bigger Venue (via AP)
UPDATED August 27, 2018 “Following Controversy Surrounding a Drag Queen Story Time Event Lafayette Library President Joseph Gordon-Wiltz Resigns” (via The Advertiser)
UPDATED with Additional Coverage, Statement
- Statement from National Coalition Against Censorship: NCAC Supports Louisiana Library Hosting Drag Queen Story Hour
According to a story on the Daily Advertiser website, 19 out of 20 speakers at a recent Lafayette city council meeting supported an upcoming public library program in which drag queens would read stories to young children.
The plan, which some feel will foster future acceptance of alternative lifestyles, became a focal point of some criticism when it was announced on Saturday (Aug. 18). According to the story, Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux is considering cancelling the Oct. 6 event at the public location and possibly moving it elsewhere.
“I will also be asking the library’s board of control to conduct a thorough review of its programming and approval process for taxpayer-funded events,” Robideaux stated.
We need to learn how to recognize each other, how to see each other’s gifts and talents and flaws, and how to meet each other,” said Marie Delahoussaye Diaz, a self-described library patron extraordinaire. “The story time that’s caused so much controversy is just an opportunity for kids — older kids, younger kids, almost babies — to see each other, to experience something they’ve never seen before and to learn how to relate to it.”
Lafayette resident and mother Melanie Brevis said she does not agree with all library items and programs, but doesn’t believe they should be removed.
“The library is an innovative, progressive beacon here in Lafayette. It’s job is not to make everyone comfortable with every single program,” Brevis said. “If you don’t like it, don’t go, or just pretend it’s not happening.”
The library posted its own statement on its official website Tuesday. It noted that the library hosts an average of 60 story time events a month throughout the parish and that many feature special guests.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.