Values, Risks, and Power Influencing Librarians' Decisions to Host Drag Queen Storytime

Document Type



This paper reports preliminary qualitative findings from a survey of public library staff who work at libraries that have and have not hosted drag queen storytimes (DQS), a popular but contested children's program. Three constructs—values, risks, and power—are developed to describe how individual, library, and institutional forces combine to determine whether DQS occur. Findings contribute to limited scholarly work on DQS by including locations that have not hosted DQS and by engaging critically with how institutional forces shape library staffs' decision-making around DQS. It is critical to understand factors contributing to this decision-making to inform contextually appropriate strategies for encouraging dialogue about DQS as well as LGBTQ+ visibility and justice in children's programming. Moreover, DQS constitute a salient context through which to critically explore broader issues of power and inclusion in public libraries.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

APA Citation

Floegel, D., Barriage, S., Kitzie, V., & Oltmann, S. (2020). Values, risks, and power influencing librarians' decisions to host drag queen storytime. Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 57(1), e212.b