Pride month support by Metropolitan Library System praised and criticized

Pride month support by Metropolitan Library System praised and criticized

OKLAHOMA CITY (Free Press) —  The Metropolitan Library Fee heard from an unusually massive variety of public commenters at their common assembly Thursday afternoon on the Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library.

Members of the general public voiced opinions for and in opposition to the Metropolitan Library System’s Delight programming in the course of the month of June.

June is acknowledged throughout america and around the globe as Delight month. Delight celebrates the wealthy historical past and cultural legacy of the LGBTQ2S+ group. The Metro Library System had programming for youth and adults regarding Delight all through the month.

Whereas the overwhelming majority of library patrons confirmed help for the programming, a vocal minority have criticized the library system, calling the programming “propaganda” and claiming some supplies have been “sexually express.”

Activism

In anticipation of the Fee assembly, native activists rallied help from the group, asking residents and library patrons to name or electronic mail Commissioners and Library management to voice their help for the Delight programming offered throughout June. 

The OKC Delight Alliance, the volunteer-run nonprofit group that introduced this yr’s Delight Festivities to Scissortail Park in downtown Oklahoma Metropolis, posted an open letter of help for the library on their Instagram account that had over 900 likes on the time of the Fee assembly. The Alliance inspired followers to electronic mail the Library System to voice their help.

Public feedback

At Thursday’s assembly, ten residents signed as much as handle the Fee’s 14 members who have been current.

The primary speaker was Sara Cunningham, a mom of two sons, certainly one of whom is homosexual. Cunningham talked concerning the energy of sharing some tales along with her sons and praised the Library for his or her service.

“Now we have seen the facility of worry and ignorance. And we’ve got seen the facility of affection and schooling,” Cunningham stated.

The following resident, a stay-at-home mother and former educator from Bethany claimed that her daughter was uncovered to a pop-up whereas utilizing the library’s web site. The pop-up marketed Delight-related actions and books for all ages. The mom declared that the Library System has given itself over to a “sexually express” agenda. She declared that the Library has misplaced her help and — she hopes and prays — her cash.

One other resident shared a narrative about her sister, who handed away from issues because of AIDS. She closed her highly effective feedback by saying that no get together might be the arbiter of what makes a group.

Avid library patron Cacky Poarch defined that her household has been library cardholders for many years. She cited a number of cultural applications she has skilled by way of the Metro Library System, saying that these occasions have been alternatives to broaden her perspective. Dynamic programming just like the choices throughout Delight Month, she stated, demonstrates good stewardship of her tax cash.

Different residents spoke of the Library system offering a protected area for his or her households, together with relations who’re a part of the LGBTQ2S+ group.

An Edmond man who stated he has a homosexual son inspired individuals who reject their neighbors as a part of the group to avail themselves of the programming on the library so their eyes could also be opened.

Hannah Royce, Director of OKC Delight Alliance, spoke as much as thank the Library System for his or her help and allyship in the course of the month of June, and particularly in the course of the Delight Pageant downtown. She added that diminishing the Queer Group to easy sexual desire is an erasure and an insult.

Govt Director response

Larry White, Govt Director of the Metro Library System, addressed the Commissioners after public remark was made. He reported on Library affairs for the month of June. He stated that the Library has acquired many calls and emails about Delight Month programming. 

Roughly 40 residents contacted the Library to share considerations about Delight-themed programming, whereas over 130 messages of help had been acquired by the point of the assembly.

White stated that the aim of the Library is just not advocacy, however to offer data. 

When the Library gives voter data, they don’t encourage membership in any political get together. The Library gives data for a lot of celebrations and observances. 

He cited Black Historical past Month, Asian American Historical past Month, and Veterans Day as examples of occasions commemorated by the Library, all of which replicate components of our group.

After the Govt Director’s report, the Fee quietly and swiftly dealt with common enterprise after which adjourned.

Subsequent month’s Library Fee assembly can be held on the Edmond Public Library on August 26.


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Final Up to date July 16, 2021, 3:43 PM by Brett Dickerson – Editor

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