Fundraisers help West Point library put inclusive books on the shelves

Fundraisers help West Point library put inclusive books on the shelves

WEST POINT, Miss. (WCBI)-  The Bryan Public Library in West Point is adding to its book collection thanks to the help of community members–and complete strangers from across the nation.

You’ve likely noticed the PRIDE display inside the Bryan Public Library. Michael Williams spearheaded a fundraiser to get more LGBTQ+ books at the library.

“In our small town, I know there are people who need that positive, queer positive, queer inclusive material, whether they want to be an ally and learn more about it or people looking for books that have stories like them,” said Williams.

Michael’s fundraiser helped the library raise nearly $1,800 to purchase books and build on its fiction and non fiction LGBTQ section. For Michael, it’s a mission close to his heart to make sure no one feels alone.

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

Youth Service Librarian Jayme Evans says not everyone has been welcoming however, the outpouring of support from people as far as New York has been a positive influence.

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

Each month Jayme sets up a new display. She says because libraries aren’t federally funded, she in part depends on fundraisers like the PRIDE one in order to buy books. Books that are inclusive for all.

“All books are important. There’s never going to be a time when a book is not important. Everyone should be able to pick up a book, whether they buy it, come to the library, books that talk about a topic they enjoy, it is important,” said Evans.

With every page both Michael and Jayme hope everyone finds inspiration. Build knowledge. And acceptance for everyone.

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

If there’s a topic you’re interested in seeing displayed, just reach out to the Bryan Public Library.

Categories: Local News