The Peekskill and Cortlandt communities quickly responded with donations following The Field Library’s Facebook posting of June 2 noting that about 30 children’s books with LGBTQIA+ themes were missing from the library’s shelves.
All 30 books – which were posted on an Amazon wish list – were purchased within 24 hours by local residents on behalf of the library. In addition, Peekskill Pride donated $500 for the library to purchase additional books with LBGTQIA+ themes for the children’s and young adult’s collections.
The missing books were discovered when Rachel Mandel, a Children’s Librarian, began putting together the children’s Pride Month book display. The missing books were not checked out and not on the shelves. On three separate occasions one particular title has gone missing.
“The Field Library offers a wide variety of books for every person in our community,” said Jennifer Brown, The Field Library’s Executive Director. “We understand that some books may not be to the liking of some local residents. However, we cannot tolerate books being deliberately taken to prevent other people from taking them out. We support the LGBTQIA+ community not only in June but also from July through May.”
In addition to the replacement books, Peekskill Pride’s donation will allow the expansion of the children’s and young adult selections.
“I asked questions when I was young. My friends asked different questions when they were young,” said Brian Fassett, President of Peekskill Pride. “Having access to the kinds of books available today in our local library would have been life-changing. Youth will continue to ask questions, and our mission as mentors is to provide accurate, supportive, and accessible guidance. It is essential to provide resources for anyone to explore who they are or who they may be and to allow them to pick up a story and truly feel represented. Peekskill Pride’s effort is to make sure all feel safe to be who they are and reach their full beautiful potential in a community that embraces them. “
“The support from the community has been overwhelming,” said Ms. Brown. “Peekskill is truly a wonderful community.”
For more information, contact: Jennifer Brown, firstname.lastname@example.org.