Below you'll find sample texts for letters and phone calls you can make urging LPL Director Danny Gillane to allow librarians to create displays for Pride month in June 2023 and other historical commemorations throughout the year. In May 2022 Director Gillane decided to cancel that year's planned Pride displays, which have, in the past, created a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere for the LGBTQ community at our library, as well as serving as a learning opportunity and conversation starter for allies and others. We believe this policy was implemented to ensure that a small, vocal minority of complaints about past Pride displays was catered to, resulting in the library administration self-censoring in the attempt to placate hate. In addition, this policy will not only cancel this year's Pride display--any display deemed "Political"--including Black History Month, Women's History Month, etc. will be affected. Help us right this wrong - demand Director Gillane allow the Pride Displays!
RESTORE the PRIDE Displays SAMPLE LETTER
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Mr. Gillane,
As a citizen, I am outraged at your decision not to allow PRIDE displays, as well as other displays of cultural and historical significance at our local libraries. These displays are critical for LGBTQ youth, providing them with an opportunity not only to find resources they might not find otherwise, but also by sending the message that they are important, worthy members of our community, and that the library sees them as such. Refusing to allow these displays after allowing them last year sends the very opposite message - that they are something to be ashamed of, something to be hidden away, something that is controversial and needs not be seen.
We all understand and acknowledge that there is hate in our community. However, the library should, and MUST, be a bulwark against that hate. It must be an example to our community of inclusivity, challenging anyone who enters to open up their worldview and see people and places from a new, wider perspective than they would otherwise. To self-censor that mission is to fail the library, and frankly, fail our community.
This is not acceptable.
I ask you to please restore the PRIDE displays in June, and please allow the libraries to honor other months of important historical interest, such as Black History Month, and Women's History Month.
RESTORE the PRIDE Displays SAMPLE PHONE SCRIPT
Phone #: (337) 261-5781
My name is __________.
I'm calling to ask that Director Gillane please restore the PRIDE displays at the Lafayette Public Libraries. After seeing the displays last year, not allowing them this year sends the message to our LGBTQ youth that they are something that needs to be hidden away, something we should be ashamed of. We should be sending the opposite message - that our community is inclusive, welcoming, and not afraid of bullies. Libraries should not censor themselves to accommodate hate.
The library should be a place for people to come and expand their worldview, to have their beliefs challenged, to learn something new. It should not be a place ruled by narrow-mindedness and hate. Please allow the PRIDE displays, as well as other displays of historical interest throughout the year, including Black History Month and Women's History Month.
Thank you for your time.