LEXINGTON PARK, Maryland, June 18, 2019, LifeSiteNews — The American Library Association (ALA) website has scrubbed the author’s name from an article in which a Maryland librarian describes ways children’s librarians can sneak LGBT content and activities into libraries located in conservative rural areas.
Librarian Tess Goldwasser’s name apparently was recently removed from her ALA article after national pressure began to build against a Drag Queen Story Hour planned next week for a local branch within the St.Mary’s County library system, where Goldwasser works as an assistant branch manager of youth services.
When Personhood Alliance’s Maryland affiliate, local activist Georgia Kijesky, submitted a letter to the editor of The Enterprise about the upcoming Drag Queen Story Hour to be held in the Lexington Park library near her home, she cited the June 2017 ALA article by Goldwasser.
The editor replied that there was no way to prove that Goldwasser had authored the piece. Kijesky revisited the online ALA article and soon discovered that Goldwasser’s name had been deleted within the last few days. Enterprise editor Donnie Morgan spoke with Tess Goldwasser, but she would neither confirm nor deny writing the blog for the ALA site.
Kijesky believes that the redaction of the author’s name is the result of increasing public pressure against not only the planned Drag Queen Story Hour, but also the LGBT infiltrating tactics used by children’s librarians revealed in Goldwasser’s article.
ALA article suggests children’s librarians “sneakily” include LGBT library materials
Goldwasser’s article begins, “Do you work for a library in a small, rural, conservative community? … Do you wish you could do more to make your library inclusive to the LGBTQIA+ community, but meet with resistance?”
The LGBT-advocating librarian then offered “tips and tricks to being a secret librarian advocate operative,” with the clearly stated ultimate goal of introducing Drag Queen Story Hours in currently resistant communities. Those tactics include:
- “Sneakily fit stuff into current programs: So you’re not doing Drag Queen Storytime (yet), but you’re probably doing Regular Old Storytime, right? Try to ‘sneak’ inclusive messages into your current programs. For instance, if you’re reading a book about a Mama bear and a Papa bear, maybe when you read it you just change it to be about 2 Papa bears!”
- “Creatively encourage inclusive collection development” and “firmly defend LGBT items in your collection.” Goldwasser suggested, “Find out the best way to reach your library’s acquisitions specialists, and then request LGBT books, movies, and music — anything that’s received positive reviews, or been listed on top 100 lists, or won awards,” in order to more easily justify the presence of LGBT materials on library shelves.
- “Invite LGBT community partners: [Your local library branch] may not be ready for any kind of LGBT programming yet. But that doesn’t mean those programs can’t still be held in your library. If your library has meeting space, reach out to groups like your local PFLAG chapter, or local schools’ LGBT student groups, and let them know that they can hold meetings and host programs at your library.
According to the local newspaper, that last suggestion is the precise tactic employed to get Drag Queen Story Hour into the Lexington Park Library.
“Though the event will be held at the library, Michael Blackwell, director of the library system, has said that the group known as Southern Maryland Area Secular Humanists (SMASH) is sponsoring the event using its non-profit status,” reported St. Mary’s County Times.
“Blackwell said the library system is only providing the room per its rules and standards for leaving its meeting rooms open for public use,” continues the report. “The event is being sponsored by SMASH along with PFLAG of Leonardtown.”
Over 100 children are currently signed up by their parents to attend the Drag Queen Story Hour event, according to the same report.
Kijesky told LifeSiteNews that the library director has been insisting since 2017 that the library has nothing to do with these events and that the library is just opening its meeting rooms to them.
Kijesky believes that the ALA article proves that there is more to the story — that there are forces within the library system acting in tacit cooperation with groups like SMASH and PFLAG to get Drag Queen Story Hours into local libraries.
The ALA article “proves that not only is it their intention to get Drag Queen Story Hour, but it’s also their goal,” said Kijesky.
Resisting Drag Queen Story Hour
A petition launched last week as a joint effort between the Personhood Alliance and LifeSiteNews against the Drag Queen Story Hour planned for a Lexington Park public library next week went viral and has now garnered nearly 30,000 signatures.
As a consequence, pressure from the local community is being brought to bear on the library and staff.
A prayer vigil followed by the praying of the rosary will occur outside the Lexington Park library on Sunday, June 23, as a Drag Queen Story Hour is held inside.
This article has been updated.