Statement from the Friends of the Reading Public Library

We are saddened by the threat of violence and disruption of programs at the Reading Public Library on Saturday. We are furthermore extremely disappointed by the explicit targeting of the Pride Storytime. The Friends of the Reading Public Library is proud to fund many of the varied programs offered by the library, including Pride Storytime. These programs appeal to a wide range of interests and demographic groups in our community.

All Storytimes encourage a lifelong love of reading for children. Pride Storytime encourages not only this love of reading, but also familiarity with, acceptance of, and joy in the diversity of the world around us. Celebrations of differences should be encouraged, not discouraged.

While we are grateful that no one was physically injured this weekend, we recognize that threats such as the one experienced Saturday are harmful in and of themselves as they can make marginalized peoples feel unsafe and unsupported. We want to publicly share our support and gratitude for our Library and the library staff. We appreciate the quick and thorough efforts of our town Public Safety community. We want to acknowledge and celebrate all families and individuals who enjoy the Reading Public Library. We encourage everyone to attend and participate in the diverse and inclusive programs offered by our wonderful library.

We will proudly continue funding any and all programs that show our neighbors that they belong in our library and in our town.

Denise Wyer
President Friends of the Reading Public Library

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