BCLA has joined other members of The Partnership, Canada’s national network of provincial and territorial library associations, in endorsing the statement In Defence of Drag Storytime: A Statement of Support from Canada’s Library Associations (French translation). The Association recognizes that drag storytime is one of many ways that libraries can and do support 2SLGBTQ+ community members; we support and defend the right of libraries to offer drag storytime, while also affirming the importance of each library working in partnership with their local 2SLGBTQ+ community members to determine how to best support and serve them.

Statements can sometimes feel inconsequential or performative, but since BCLA operates more at the philosophical level than the operations level our support is often in endorsing statements and providing opportunities for learning. We do hear from libraries, particularly those who have boards or local governments who are not supportive of initiatives like drag storytime, that being able to point to an endorsement from a provincial organization like ours is a practical and important support for them.

BCLA has taken several actions in the recent past to support libraries offering drag storytimes:

  • In 2022, we wrote letters to both provincial and territorial governments advocating for solutions to hate.
  • Libraries can and do contact Rina Hadziev, Executive Director, for advice and support when facing challenges to drag storytime events
  • At the 2022 BC Library Conference we offered Fabulous fables: Hosting a drag queen story time in your library which was “an honest, down-to-earth Q+A with iconic North Vancouver drag queen Conni Smudge will address the realities of developing a drag program including logistics, marketing, and maintaining a positive partnership with your Queen and community.”

BCLA Board and staff continue to explore ways the Association can support libraries in offering inclusive services and programs.