The risks of contracting coronavirus and protests have been assessed as a drag queen will be hitting Reading libraries early this week.

Drag queen Aida H Dee, real name Sab Samuel, the founder of Drag Queen Story Hour UK will be coming to Reading on Monday and Tuesday (July 25-26).

Aida is Britain’s first full-time drag queen storyteller, and has already taken ‘her’ tour to Wokingham, Bristol, London, Cornwall, Cardiff, Oxfordshire and Brighton and Hove.

Mr Samuel’s performing name is a play on ADHD, Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, where those who are diagnosed with the condition have difficulty concentrating.

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A risk assessment has been undertaken for the events, which are being hosted by Reading Borough Council in four of its libraries.

The council has determined that the biggest risk is that attendees may contract coronavirus at the events.

The council’s risk assessment has explained how it hopes to limit the spread of Covid-19.

It states: “All Reading Borough Council staff have been encouraged to be double (and booster where appropriate) vaccinated.

“Staff are aware that they are not to attend work if suffering from any

Covid-19 symptoms and to follow current Reading Borough Council/government guidelines.

“Signs are up asking customers not to enter the library if they have any Covid-19 symptoms.

“Signs are on display encouraging customers to wear face masks.”

Additionally, the assessment states hand gel use is encouraged and chairs will be appropriately spaced to limit any potential spread of Covid-19.

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There are also concerns that the events could be targetted by protesters.

To tackle this risk, the council’s Children’s Lead will attend all events.

Additionally, members of the Reading Central Library management team will be present at the first event, and town centre police officers (PCSOs) have been made aware.

The council has also considered hiring a security guard.

There are similar concerns that there may be inappropriate comments from library users.

Staff have been made aware that this may happen, and have been asked to explain that the council’s libraries embrace diversity and inclusivity.

These risks have been assessed on a ‘risk matrix’ which rates concerns from ‘1’, judged as negilible, to ’36’ which is the highest.

Fears about the risk of catching coronavirus has been rated as ’36’, with protests against the event and inappropriate comments being rated at ‘6’.

Drag Queen Story Hour will be taking place for free at the following locations and times:

  • Reading Central Library, Abbey Square, Reading RG1 3BQ – starts 10.30am today (Monday, July 25)
  • Tilehurst Library, School Road, Tilehurst RG31 5AS – starts at 2pm today (Monday, July 25)
  • Whitley Library, South Reading Community Hub, 252 Northumberland Ave, Reading RG2 7QA – starts at 10.30am tomorrow (Tuesday, July 26)
  • Southcote Library, Southcote Community Hub, Coronation Square, Reading RG30 3BA – starts at 2pm tomorrow (Tuesday, July 26)

The risk assessment was revealed as part of a Freedom of Information request submitted by Mr G Morgan last month and accessible via the website ‘What Do They Know’.