(RepublicanNews.org) – A library in a small town in New York State whose name was synonymous with makeup-clad grown men reading picture books to little children has closed its doors. The Rockwell Falls Library in the village of Lake Luzerne first became embroiled in controversy in April 2023 when staff at the center announced that they planned to host a female impersonator reading event.
Drag queen Scarlet Sagamore had been scheduled to appear before a group of little boys and girls on April 15th, but the majority of area residents did not take kindly to the library’s Facebook post announcing the event. Those both in support of and against the planned reading packed the next area board meeting three days later to voice their opinions on the matter.
Opponents of the library’s plan framed the issue mostly as one of taxpayer funding. By and large, residents said they were not opposed to private businesses hosting drag queen readings, but the majority did not want their tax dollars funding what most of the attendees viewed to be a promotion of alternative lifestyles.
A nearby paper learned shortly thereafter that the library’s $190,000 worth of taxpayer funding had originally been raised to support the local public school system. According to the town supervisor, a voter-approved referendum had steered the funds to the library.
Two days before the drag queen reading was scheduled to take place, Rockwell Falls Library announced that they would be postponing the event. Not long after that, it was canceled altogether. At a later board meeting, the library’s director conveyed that her staff were feeling “harassed” and potentially unsafe at work.
According to locals, families had begun to question how employees were spending their $190,000. As of September 27th, two of the library’s three-person staff had quit their jobs. A sign posted on the center’s door by the director said that “staffing shortages” had forced the library’s closure.
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