On September 18, 2019, the Board of the Okanagan Regional Library (ORL) will be discussing a memo drafted by ORL CEO Don Nettleton.
The memo details that the launch of Drag Queen Story Time at the Downtown ORL location has been "offensive to a significant segment of society" and it is divisive and inappropriate for young children. Read the full memo on page 33 of the agenda here.
Unfortunately, the memo has many fallacies about the nature of Drag and the purpose of creating events like this for young people. Drag is an expression of art and a form of entertainment. More than 100 people turned out for Story Time on September 14 - making it the best attending Story Time in history. It seems clear that the ORL provided a space for something the community was missing.
Blake Edwards, Co-President of Kelowna Pride, remarked:
"First off, I would like to thank the Downtown Library for diversifying and hosting these events. But, of course, when you take a step in the right direction, you run into a wall of bigotry. I'm sure the same thing happened 50 years ago when a Black person was asked to read at Story Time. What side of history would you like to be on?"
The Kelowna Pride Society hopes that the ORL Board will disregard this memo as they have no place in dictating ORL programming. Leave programming to the Librarians.