The library is happy to host a wide variety of groups across the six branches.
One of those groups is Discover YOUth, a 2SLTGBQIA+ group that welcomes youth who are 2 Spirit, lesbian, trans, gay, bisexual, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual and the “+” represents the other identities that might fall under this umbrella. The group also welcomes young allies who want to support their friends or meet new people in a safer and welcoming environment. This group has evolved and adapted throughout the years – starting as a drop in at the Picton Branch, transitioning online using Discord when meeting in person was impossible, changing to picnics in Benson park to meet social distancing requirements, and moving to the Picton Town Hall when the construction at the library made the meeting room unavailable.
\The group has received community support from many businesses and individuals, ensuring that as many as possible of the activities (for example, a recent outing took the youth on a kayaking trip) are at no cost, making sure no one is left out for financial reasons.
This generous community support also allows the group to occasionally purchase books for the library collection. The youth participants recently purchased the graphic novel series Heartstopper by Alice Oseman (and of course we reserved it for them to have the opportunity to read it first!). Earlier this year, the group worked with the Prince Edward Learning Centre and the Department of Illumination to create a window display at Rosehaven Yarn Shop in Picton.
A recent example of the community support the group has received comes from Base31. On Labour Day weekend Base31 will host We’re Funny That Way Queer Comedy Cabaret and Music Festival – with a twist: you can camp all weekend long! You can find out more about the event at base31.ca. The event organizers reached out to our library group to invite the youth members of the group to attend at no charge, as well as announcing with Rainbow Charity Network that a portion of net proceeds from the 2022 Edition of We’re Funny That Way Queer Comedy and Music Festival will support the County of Prince Edward Library 2SLGBTQIA+ Youth Drop-In Program & Discover YOUth.
The group is led by library staff member Joanna, who creates a kind and welcoming environment for the youth and respects each member’s confidentiality and privacy. Joanna can be reached at email@example.com if you have any questions or are interested in learning more about the group. When the library expansion is finished the group will return to meeting in the library. This will also allow us to expand to offer more groups and programming for people of all ages.