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How love won at the Sechelt Library drag queen storytime last week

Crowds of supporters showed up outside the Sechelt Library last Thursday and Saturday to support drag queen storytime.

It isn’t often that an event for children at the Sechelt Library requires police presence, undercover operatives, a Library and District of Sechelt security team – as well as cupcakes, a bubble machine and children’s books from our library collection. But that, and an entire library staff in supporting roles, is exactly what it took to put on two Drag Queen Storytime events this past week. Despite the haters, the misinformed and the abuse myself and our staff took for the last two weeks, the level of support shown by our community was inspiring, overwhelming and full of gratitude for a library that didn’t bow down to hate. Attendance at the events was over the top and the crowds of supporters outside came from every walk of life and background.         

Controversy is not new to Sechelt Library or any library for that matter. We have many items on our shelves that can, and sometimes do, offend someone. This is the beauty of free choice. As our staff say, “we are like a buffet; come in, take what you want, leave the rest. ”   

Library staff do not judge you on the basis of your age, race, religion, political position, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status. Respect is shown equally to all. Even some of the Drag Queen Storytime “haters” have library cards and use our library for themselves and their families. We are happy about that! There are thousands of items in our library for choices to be made and, ultimately, there is always something for everyone.   

As a library staff, we work hard every day to bring joy, intrigue, information and assistance to all members of our community. We celebrate who we are as a community – painters, poets, knitters, writers, athletes, indigenous peoples, refugees, gardeners, crafters, LGBTQ+, volunteers, grandparents, friends, astronomers, boaters, builders, babies, newcomers, foreign language speakers – and of course – readers!       

We support many local Sechelt businesses and we work with many community partners to bring the best possible experiences to our community. Our summer is full of activities, exercise and thought-provoking classes for adults but especially full of activities for children.  Our ongoing children’s programs are also topped up with the Summer Reading Program and all its exciting activities! Again, not everything will be for you but I bet something will be!         

Not every day is full of love and magic but last week we saw the best of the best. It was extraordinary. On behalf of Sam Iversen, our children’s services coordinator, our library board, our staff and myself, we are grateful for the support we have been shown by our local politicians, the District of Sechelt, the Sechelt detachment of the RCMP and the incredible community we live in. 

Prior to the Drag Queen Storytime events, we taped up many 11 x 17 posters up on our library widows that say, ‘Love Always Wins.” Last week it certainly did.