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Madison Co. voters say libraries shouldn't advertise drag queen events to minors

Nearly two-thirds of voters in Madison Co. said no to a referendum asking if tax-supported libraries and schools should promote drag queen events to minors.

GLEN CARBON, Ill. — The results of a controversial ballot measure in the Metro East are getting a lot of attention.

Nearly two-out-of-three voters in Madison County voted ‘no’ on a referendum question aimed at advertising drag shows at local libraries and schools.

The sign out front of the Glen Carbon Centennial Library Wednesday said it’s the best small library in America, but director Christine Gerrish admitted it doesn’t come without its struggles.

“Most of our adult programs, we’re happy to get 10 people,” Gerrish said.

In an effort to draw more visitors and offer more diverse programs, the library offered a ‘Drag Queen Storytime’ event over the summer.

“I have to say they were some of the best-attended programs of the summer,” said Gerrish. “We had 60 people for the adult program, and around 50 for story time.”

Gerrish said she knew at the time the event would draw some backlash within the community.

“Nobody has to come to every program that the library has,” said Gerrish. “That’s why we often only have 10 people at a program.”

However, she was surprised to see a Madison Co. ballot referendum asking voters if tax-supported libraries and schools should promote drag queen events to minors.

“The program had the same advertisement as all of our other programs,” said Gerrish. “It was put on Facebook with like 20 other programs.”

Nearly two-thirds of Madison County voters said no, it wasn’t appropriate, but Gerrish said there is a silver lining in those numbers.

“It has no legal binding to what we can do in the future,” said Gerrish. “It is an opinion poll for the most part, but it’s an important opinion poll.  We want to know what our community wants and doesn’t want.”

Since the referendum is non-binding, Gerrish said the Glen Carbon Library could host another Drag Queen story time, but they don’t have another event scheduled at this time.

For a full list of events at the Glen Carbon Centennial Library click here.

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