Fundraisers help the West Point Library put inclusive books on the shelves

Fundraisers help the West Point Library put inclusive books on the shelves

WEST POINT, miss. (WCBI) – The Bryan Public Library at West Point is expanding its book collection thanks to the help of community members — and complete strangers from across the country.

You’ve probably noticed the PRIDE exhibit at the Bryan Public Library. Michael Williams led a fundraiser to get more LGBTQ+ books in the library.

“I know there are people in our small town who need this positive, queer-positive, queer-inclusive material, whether they want to be an ally and learn more about it, or people looking for books with similar stories,” said Williams.

Michael’s fundraiser helped the library raise nearly $1,800 to purchase books and expand its LGBTQ fiction and non-fiction department. Making sure no one feels alone is a matter close to Michael’s heart.

“Maybe they need a place where they can discover stories, where they can relate, where they can discover themselves or find empathy for other people,” Williams said.

Jayme Evans, youth services librarian, says not all were kindly received, but the flow of support from people all the way to New York has been a positive influence.

“It means the community and people from every state are excited to help and it’s so nice to know that people are willing to help local libraries no matter what, so that’s always really nice for me ‘ Evans said.

Every month Jayme sets up a new display. She says because libraries aren’t federally funded, she relies in part on fundraisers like PRIDE to buy books. Books that are included for everyone.

“All books are important. There will never be a time when a book isn’t important. Everyone should be able to buy a book, whether they buy it, come to the library, books that talk about a subject they enjoy, it’s important,” Evans said.

With each page, both Michael and Jayme hope everyone finds inspiration. Building up knowledge. And acceptance for all.

“Visibility is important, whether it’s in books, movies or just in person in the community, it really can save lives,” Williams said.

If there is a topic you are interested in, just contact the Bryan Public Library.

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