Information Across the Spectrum QuasiCon Panel Presentation 2014


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This is a presentation to librarians and library students at the University of Michigan School of Information on February 8, 2014. The speakers included two officers and two members of the LGBTQIA student group Information Across the Spectrum.

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Information Across the Spectrum QuasiCon Panel Presentation 2014

  1. 1. Information Across the Spectrum Presents: LGBTQ Perspectives in Libraries Panel: Chris Bulin, Kirsten Hansen, Jean Hardy, and Ashley Walker
  2. 2. Equal Opportunity Statements ● Does it include Sexual Orientation, Gender Expression, Gender Identity? ● Is it prominently displayed or made easily available to applicants? ● Does diversity training support this aspect of the EOE statement?
  3. 3. Employee Benefits ● How do you define spouse? Is it partner inclusive? (not just domestic partner but same-sex spouse) ● Are the requirements for dependent eligibility the same for same-sex spouses?
  4. 4. Employee Benefits Cont’d. ● Are benefits for same-sex spouses included in all benefits (bereavement, FMLA, life insurance, etc.)? or only health care? ● Transgender inclusive by World Professional Association for Transgender Health Standards of Care (WPATH SOC)
  5. 5. Transgender Support ● Do you have a policy describing organizational support for transitioning employees? ● Do you have gender neutral bathrooms available for employees and visitors/patrons/customers/members?
  6. 6. Employee Feedback ● Do you collect non-binary gender information on demographic surveys? (examples) ● What about an anonymous way to report sexual orientation? ● Do you have an LGBTQ focused committee or other employee group?
  7. 7. LBGTQ Young Adult Collections ● Why LGBTQ literature for young adults? ● An exciting time in LGBTQ YA books ● Resources for collection development ○ ALA GLBT Round Table ○ ALA Rainbow Books ○ ALA Stonewall Award ○ Variety of blogs
  8. 8. Issues to Consider ● Know your community ● Clear collection policy AND procedure for challenged books ● Once you have the books, don’t hide them! ● Inclusivity is key ● Collection development is just part of creating a LGBTQ-friendly library.
  9. 9. Outreach ● ● ● ● Libraries as safe spaces Narratives are an important part of identity formation Facilitating access to unbiased information Libraries can help overcome financial and social limitations
  10. 10. Areas of Concern ● Privacy issues ● Diversity within the LGBTQIA+ community ● Censorship: internal and external
  11. 11. Advice for Libraries ● ● ● ● Staff education Assess community needs Make LGBTQIA+ materials more visible and accessible Collection policies to protect LGBTQIA+ materials
  12. 12. What is an LGBT Community Library? ● Marsha P. Johnson Memorial Library at the University of Washington Q Center in Seattle ● Teri Rose Memorial Library at the Leather Archives & Museum in Chicago ● Jim Toy Library at the University of Michigan Spectrum Center
  13. 13. What can librarians do for LGBTCLs? ● Queer & trans librarians? ○ If there isn’t a community library, consider starting one in a community space. ● All librarians? ○ Respecting community spaces ○ Fielding patrons ○ Donating time/money/material
  14. 14. LGBT Community Libraries & Public Libraries ● Taking on similar characteristics ○ As public libraries become specifically designed as community spaces, they gain similar characteristics to community libraries ● Tread lightly, resources matter. ○ As libraries become community spaces, make sure that you’re not accessing resources (especially monetarily), that community libraries would normally be needing.
  15. 15. Questions? Comments?
  16. 16. Resources ● ● ● Human Rights Campaign. (2013). Corporate Equality Index Survey. Retrieved from http: // Human Rights Campaign. (2014). Collecting Transgender-Inclusive Gender Data in Workplace and Other Surveys. Retrieved from Rawson, Casey. (2011). “Are All Lists Created Equal? Diversity in Award-Winning and Bestselling Young Adult Fiction.” Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults (1),3 Retrieved from: