Controversial “Drag Queen Story Hour” Library Forced to Close
The Rockwell Falls Public Library in Lake Luzerne, New York has been forced to close abruptly. The library faced controversy earlier in the year when it promoted a Drag Queen Story Hour event, which led to heated community discussions.
The library’s recent closure was triggered by the resignation of two out of its three staff members. A sign on the library’s door informed patrons of the shutdown due to the loss of the majority of its staff.
The controversy began when the library posted an invitation to a “Drag Queen Story Hour” on its Facebook page, featuring a drag queen named Scarlet Sagamore scheduled to read to children. The drag queen was supposed to read three books, including one entitled, “Red: A Crayon Story,” which is about a crayon that has been produced with an incorrect label. The planned event sparked an intense debate among community members, including parents who had varying opinions on having such programs on public property.
One concerned community member voiced their concerns during a board meeting, emphasizing that they had no issue with such events taking place in private venues but believed it shouldn’t occur on public property using taxpayer funds. It was revealed that the library’s funding, approximately $190,000 per year, came from taxpayers’ money intended for the school system, which was approved through a referendum.
In response to the backlash, the library postponed the event before subsequently cancelling it.
The controversy surrounding the Drag Queen Story Hour was not the only issue at the library. During a July board meeting, Library Director Courtney Keir, who later resigned, claimed that staff felt unsafe and harassed. However, the so-called “harassment” was related to concerns about financial transparency and accountability regarding the use of taxpayer funding.
Local residents demanded more transparency and accountability regarding the library’s finances, considering that a portion of their school taxes went to the library each year. The controversy regarding the Drag Queen Story Hour event seemed to raise questions about how taxpayer funds were allocated.
The closure of the Rockwell Falls Public Library emphasizes the importance of involving the public in decisions made with taxpayer dollars and ensuring that such funding is used responsibly and transparently.