Drag Queen storytime to continue at Kelowna library | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Drag Queen storytime to continue at Kelowna library

Okanagan Regional Library.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED

Drag Queen storytime will carry on at Kelowna's library and senior staff will be sent to sensitivity and diversity training.

Earlier in the year, Okanagan Regional Library CEO Don Nettleton circulated a memo questioning the place of the storytime series.

"The announced program, while claiming to be promoting diversity and acceptance, will be offensive to a significant segment of our society," Nettleton had written in September.

Nettleton said also he was concerned that the show could put the library's reputation for being "middle of the road" or a "neutral" safe environment for children's programming at risk.

The community came out to support the storytime after the memo was circulated and the Okanagan Regional Library board said it would examine the issue. It received a report from the policy and planning committee today, Nov. 20, related to policy surrounding children's programming guidelines. 

The policy and planning committee reported that it was satisfied that they had received a large amount of quantitative and qualitative information from stakeholders both for and against the Drag Queen Storytime sufficient to move forward with making a decision regarding children's programming.

"They recognize the expertise of local knowledge of library branch staff that ensures programming is relevant to their community," a release from the ORL board reads.

"Recognized that parents and guardians have the responsibility to choose what is appropriate for their children and can choose whether they will participate or not."
As such, they've determined that the ORL's existing policy around programming is sufficient and did not recommend any changes.

"(The board) has accepted the recommendation and will leave policy unchanged, which will allow programming such as Drag Queen Storytime to continue," reads. "(It) will require all senior staff, along with any board members who wish to participate, take sensitivity and diversity training."

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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