Juneau Library Director Cathernine Melville

The new leader of Juneau Public Libraries is kicking off her first official week as director by hosting a drag queen story hour and dance party for children.

On July 31, the City & Borough of Juneau announced that Catherine Melville will serve as the next library director. She is a deeply entrenched, 20-year library employee who has overseen book purchasing, collection development, technical services and the supervising of library staff. She’s been serving as the acting director since February.

It appears Melville is intent on continuing the divisive and highly controversial practice of using the publicly funded library system to push radical LGBTQ themes, including drag performances for children.

On Aug. 5, the library system is hosting drag queens and kings for an event at Mendenhall Valley Public Library that includes stories, songs and a LGBTQ-themed dance party for young children.

This is part of a series of recent controversial events hosted by the library. Since serving as acting director, Melville has overseen LGBTQ poetry events and competitions, critical race theory-themed book readings and a youth Pride party to celebrate and promote LGBTQ identities among children.

“I’m looking forward to continuing to work with my fantastic colleagues to connect Juneau residents of all ages to the wide variety of free resources our libraries have to offer, from physical and digital materials to educational and entertaining programs and story-times, to community meeting spaces,” Melville said upon taking over as full-time director.

Melville earned a Master of Library & Information Science from the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2009 and a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from the University of British Columbia. She was born and raised in Juneau and is a 1997 graduate of Juneau-Douglas High School.


— To contact Juneau Library Director Catherine Melville, call (907) 586-5249 or email

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Juneau’s new library director launching first official week with drag queen party for kids

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.