Lancaster Public Library, Lancaster Pride process cancellation of Saturday’s event

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A day after a Lancaster Pride event at the Lancaster Public Library was cancelled because of the discovery of a suspicious package, the leaders of the organizations are still processing what happened.

“Speaking personally, you know, I don’t even know everything that I am feeling right now,” said Lissa Holland, executive director of the Lancaster Public Library, on Sunday. 

Lancaster city police didn’t release an update on the incident as of 6 p.m. Sunday. 

The Lancaster Public Library hadn’t discussed rescheduling the Drag Queen Story Hour as of Sunday afternoon, but overtime, Holland said the library and Lancaster Pride will make those decisions. 

“I will say, strongly, that we will continue to uphold our mission,” she said. “Part of every library’s mission is to serve its entire community, and certainly the Lancaster Public Library will continue to meet the needs, as we can, for our community.” 

Tiffany Shirley, president of Lancaster Pride, said Sunday that she’s struggling to process the events, describing it as “an attack on our community.” 

“We’re relying on each other like a family,” she said. “I can’t even think about anything business right now just because my head is still wrapping around what happened yesterday.” 

Shirley added that events like the Drag Queen Story Hour aren’t just gatherings but important moments for the community to express and celebrate themselves and each other, “… and that was taken away from us yesterday,” she said. 

Holland said she’s proud of how the library planned for Saturday’s event, clarifying the Pride event was cancelled for the safety of everyone involved. 

“It just so saddens me that there’s such a misperception of what this event is,” she said. 

Objection to the story hour has been brewing for the past few weeks after Lancaster County Commissioners Josh Parsons and Ray D’Agostino spoke out against it on social media and at public meetings. 

Matt Johnson, creator of the fundraiser, declined to comment, other than to say he doesn’t want the focus to be on him. “Other people have done much, much more than me, and I don’t want to take anything away from that work.” It raised over $3,800 from 85 donators by 6 p.m. Sunday.

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