Supporters say Leander library director booted for flap over Drag Queen Story Hour

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Leander Library Director Priscilla Donovan left her job on Friday after 12 years, and her supporters say it’s because of a controversy that arose this summer.

The Austin American-Statesman reported those supporters point to a protest held in June at the library against Drag Queen Story Hour as the reason Donovan lost her job. The city paid $20,000 for police security for the protest that drew more than 200 people.  Donovan and the company that hired her have remained tight-lipped about the reason for the departure.

Library Systems and Services, a Maryland-based company that operates the library for the city, announced in late October that Donovan would leave her position. The company would not respond to requests for comment from the newspaper.

Council member Christine Sederquist told the Statesman that Donovan was the “heart and soul of the library.”

“I firmly believe that this was due to the library’s support for our LGBTQ community,” she said.

Former library manager Theresa Scaffidi told the newspaper that Library Systems and Services “threw [Donovan] under the bus” for fear of losing its contract with the city.

Drag Queen Story Hour and a graphic novel presentation by a transgender author were canceled earlier this year because city staff said there was no system of background checks for the presenters. The story hour was later hosted at the library by a church as part of a family pride festival on June 15, the Statesman reported.

The Leander City Council voted in August to cancel public rental of library rooms after the controversy that arose from the story hour.

Mayor Troy Hill told the newspaper the library “never should have delved into social issues.”

“That doesn’t make me anti-LGBT,” Hill said. “I also don’t feel the library should have a Donald Trump story hour or an NRA story hour.”

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