Drag Queen Storytime prompts community feedback, Beloit Public Library says

Library says other libraries host similar events
Drag Queen Storytime prompts community feedback, Beloit Public Library says
Photo by Brigit Bowden
A drag queen reading at a story time at the Madison Public Library.

The Beloit Public Library officials released a statement following a large amount of public feedback on a program called Drag Queen Storytime occurring June 27.

The release said Drag Queen Storytime is not a new concept, as other public libraries around the country have hosted similar programs with great popularity.

The library said it decided to host one of these events after being approached by a group that wanted to see an event held locally.

“We believe everyone in our community shares an appreciation for openness, acceptance and the opportunity to educate their children about people who are different from them,” the statement said. “We also know that values differ, and are grateful to have received a variety of comments from multiple perspectives.”

In the release it said that the library knows “that not everyone likes the programs we host.” Beloit Public Library posts brochures and advertises programs so individuals can decide what is the best decision for themselves and their family.

In the Beloit program, Cass Marie Domino will read positive children’s books called “10,000 Dresses” and “What’s the Difference? Being Different is Amazing.” She will also lead a craft and dance.

The release said Cass Marie will dress moderately when on stage so it’s appropriate for the age group going to the program. Children are also encouraged to dress up how they feel most comfortable.

The library said it plans to have signs in the library on the day of the event and staff at the door, letting parents know that it will be a different story time than usual.

“It will be up to the parent to decide whether they feel this is a program they want their child to attend or not,” officials said.

The Drag Queen Storytime is part of the “E Pluribus Unum Series,” which the library said sometimes presents controversial topics and challenges standard thoughts and ideas.

“Public libraries have long been places of diversity, acceptance, exploration and education,” officials said.