Drag queen backlash: Wichita library may demand sex offender checks on story readers

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Drag Queen Story Hour event held at a Wichita Public Library in September 2018

Wichita Eagle. Nearly a year after a controversy over a drag queen story hour at the Wichita library, the library board is considering a policy to require that program presenters be background-checked for sex offenses before they take the stage.

The city library director said it’s not a direct response to the backlash over the September 2018 drag queen event, but she acknowledged that event was the genesis of ongoing talks that led to the proposed policy, which would cover all programs at the library. 

“The conversation started in conjunction with that particular program, but it is not a response to any program,” said Cynthia Berner, library director. “What happened was as a result of the conversation about that program, we had conversations with the library board and we talked about the fact that for a long time, we have had policies about materials collections to guide what goes into a collection. We have not had corresponding policies about programs.”

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