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Library PRIDE - Lexington Public Library

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Library PRIDE - Lexington Public Library

Lexington Public Library, Ky.

Anti-Racism, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion | 2019

Innovation Summary

LPL partnered with Pride Month organizers and local organizations to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Lexington’s Fairness Ordinance, a law to protect LGBTQIA citizens’ employment, housing and public accommodation. LPL celebrated Pride Month with multidisciplinary programs to promote inclusion amongst all of Lexington’s citizens.

Problem Statement

Lexington celebrates 20 years of Fairness despite its location in a socially conservative state. LPL leveraged its assets — public space, extensive programming, arts and cultural events, partnerships and immediate proximity to the Pride Festival site — to expand Pride offerings to a larger swath of the community. Programs were intentionally integrated into family programs with the goal to inform and educate a greater swath of the population to promote equity and inclusion of our entire LGBTQIA community.


Innovation

LPL partnered with a local history museum and LGBTQ Archive for dozens of programs to celebrate Pride Month. Showcasing grassroots efforts, the work has highlighted the strengths and struggles of the LGBTQ community. We educated the general public about an important chapter in our history, promoted understanding for Lexington’s gay community and embodied the concept that “libraries are for everyone.” Elements included a gallery exhibit, historic walking tours, panel discussions, Drag Queen storytime, music and film.


Progress

Lexington’s Pride Festival hosts over 30,000 people annually, approximately 10% of our city’s population. This partnership expands the Festival’s reach to include the wider community and to continue the commemoration beyond the month of June. By adding Lexington Public Library’s voice to the City’s Fairness Ordinance, we declare our support for our LGBTQIA community while helping others to learn and accept those who love differently than they do.