Advocating for and ensuring access to diverse books and resources was one of the main reasons I decided to become a librarian. But, as a new librarian in a huge new city, I’ve become more unsure of myself and have found myself self-censoring.
By: guest blogger Larry Weidman. A local Temple, TX resident speaks out at the library board meeting to discuss the controversial Pride Month display: “As frequent visitor and contributor to the library, frankly, the ‘controversy’ infuriated me.”
These two cases highlight the importance of having policies and procedures in place, and when the policy is not followed, reaching out to intellectual freedom experts for support.
The board voted to retain the book in the children’s collection of the public library, and as the meeting concluded, there was an atmosphere of joyful celebration.
What LGBTQ books should be on your shelf? In celebration of GLBT Book Month, OIF joined Booklist, Gale Cengage, and the GLBT Round Table of the American Library Association in this free webinar on diverse collections.
Recently in The American Conservative, long-time conservative writer and pundit Rod Dreher wrote about ‘Queering the Public Library.’ Dreher, a resident of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, complained about the materials and programming offered by the Free Library of Philadelphia. At issue were those books and programs related to library’s Pride Month Celebration, including ‘information on bullying, safety, and coming out,’ ‘biographies of important LGBTQIA+ figures in the community,’ and two programs: a singer/songwriter celebrating diversity and a drag show.
In May of 2015, Hood County Library in Granbury, Texas, found itself in the middle of a censorship attempt that led then-Director Courtney Kincaid to leave that library for both professional and personal reasons. Courtney shared her story with me.
Jamie LaRue, director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, wrote a letter to the school board and administrators at Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District, urging them to initiate a reconsideration procedure and allow for fair and free evaluation of ‘Jacob’s New Dress.’
Safety pins’ degree of acceptance varies vastly, but the spirit behind wearing the pin remains generally consistent with sending a message of solidarity and identifying as an ally to the disenfranchised.
Lesbian. Gay. Bi-sexual. Transsexual. Queer. If there is one topic of contention in the United States, it has been the topic of homosexuality. There are even opinions if the letter Q should be added or deleted from the acronym LGBT(Q). This topic, especially in young adult literature, has evolved with the times. LGBT is becoming more mainstream, and with this advancement more young adult books are being published that not only are thematically about LGBT content, but many novels have characters that are gay, even if the premise of the book isn’t about the topic.