Library staff to 'beef up' security ahead of Drag Queen Story Hour

The St. Joseph Public Library is in final preparations for the Drag Queen Story Hour program Tuesday night that has stirred up public debate.

Posted: Sep 9, 2019 7:38 PM
Updated: Sep 10, 2019 8:36 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The St. Joseph Public Library is in final preparations for the Drag Queen Story Hour program Tuesday night that has stirred up public debate. 

Since the announcement of the program, two online petitions; one in favor and one against the event have gained hundreds of signatures. 

Around 50 people showed up to a library board meeting two weeks ago to voice their opinions on the program.

Now, staff say they are expecting a protests both for and against during the story hour Tuesday. 

With this in mind, the staff decided to add extra security to the downtown library during Drag Queen Story Hour. 

"We want to make sure everyone is safe, that's our top concern," said St. Joseph Library's children's librarian Josh Swindler. "We have extra staff that are working the event and we have also hired two off-duty police officers, we are going to be checking handbags and there will be patrol cars out just to make sure everyone is safe."

The reading room where the program will be held has the capacity for 150 people. There will also be an overflow room set up for extra people. Staff say the event is first come first serve, but preference will be given for families with children.

Drag Queen Story Hour will be held at St. Joseph Library's downtown branch at 6 p.m. 

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