One of the drag queen storytelling events at the library (Jen Zielinski- Kelowna Capital News)

Okanagan library mangagement staff to get sensitivity training following drag queen dispute

The move comes after the president of the board made comments about a drag queen storytelling event

Okanagan Regional Library (ORL) president Don Nettleton and members of the libraries’ management team will be undergoing sensitivity and diversity training following comments made about a drag queen storytelling event.

The incident arose in September when Nettleton sent out a memo about a new storytelling event at a Kelowna downtown library where drag queens would be reading stories to children during storytime sessions on Saturdays in September and November.

READ MORE: Okanagan Regional Library opens branch at UBCO

“A controversial and potentially very divisive story time program has arisen within the ORL,” Nettleton said in the memo dated Sept. 18.

“Almost half of the leadership team was strongly in support of the library being involved in this type of programming…while the other half of the leadership team saw offering such a program target at 3-6 year olds as inappropriate for their age.”

In the memo, Nettleton went on to say that the event would also receive criticism from the Kelowna community.

“The announced program, while claiming to be promoting diversity and acceptance, will be offensive to a significant segment of our society,” Nettleton said.

“These two story times are set to take place in a core program aimed at very young children. The age of this programming will be concerning to many.”

In repsonse to his memo, the library received appoximately 350 pieces of correspondence from the community both in favour of the drag queen story time event and against it.

Michal Utko, director of marketing and community with ORL, confirmed cultural programming at the library — including the drag queen storytelling event — will continue as is for the forseeable future

He also said the sensitivity training for the management team will occur shortly.

“It hasn’t been schedule yet. It will be something happens sooner than later, and no later than next month.”

Despite the controversy, drag queen storytelling events aren’t new to Kelowna. Indigo Kelowna has been offering drag queen storytime events with iconic drag queens like “Daisy Confused” and “Freida Whales” for at least two years.


@connortrembley
connor.trembley@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Plan in place for students’ return at OKIB cultural immersion school

An outdoor program will precede the start of regular classes Sept. 21 at the school on Westside Road

WATCH: Gas line repaired downtown, evac lifted

Firefighters, police on scene near 32nd Avenue — more to come

Wedding party bear sprayed at Cherryville campsite

Latest criminal activity at the Meadows leaves locals frustrated

Reform taxes to bolster job growth in distilling: Vernon chamber says

Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce urges residents to push feds for tax reform

Camp Day pours ahead at Tim Hortons despite COVID-19

All coffee and iced coffee sales, and bracelet purchases support sending kids to camp

Video: SUV burns alongside the highway near Salmon Arm

Footage of the burning vehicle was posted to Youtube.

Federal Conservative leadership candidate skirts COVID-19 rules at Kelowna rally

Derek Sloan held a rally in Kelowna that had over 50 people, which is against health orders from the province

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

South Okanagan restaurant ranked among world’s best by TripAdvisor

The Hooded Merganser was ranked within the top 10 per cent of all restaurants by TripAdvisor reviews

Highway 97 upgrade option for Peachland faces 20-year delay

Peachland council disappointed by highways department decision

Kelowna Hells Angels prospect charged with assault, choking

Jason Townsend, 43, was charged after allegedly choking a woman last weekend

Most Read