The Fonds Suzan Daniel… and its partners

In October 1995, three women and three men (aged 23 to 65), involved in the lesbigay movement and/or interested in lesbian and gay studies, came together for the first meeting of what would become the Fonds Suzan Daniel.  We regretted the lack, within the movement, of awareness about and care for its archives.  As a result a lot of important documents had already been lost, and many others were in danger of meeting with the same fate.

But from the beginning raising the awareness wasn’t enough for the six initiators: organizations needed to be told how best to take care of their archives, and – more important – eventually something should be done with this material, including professional storage and arranging its accessibility.

Since the movement had (and has) many other things to do, and thus didn’t have the time (nor the expertise or the means) for long-term archives administration, the six initiators quickly concluded that another solution had to be found.

Our little group of six consisted of three historians (one being a PhD, while another would subsequently start his training as an archivist), two philosophers and one librarian.  All of us were either professionally linked with centres of cultural heritage or were familiar with these institutions as researchers.  We were therefore reasonably well aware of the complexity of running an archives and documentation centre.  We were not naïve, were not seized by the whim to do something in a hurry, but took the time to look for a long-term formula.  This led to the official founding of the Fonds Suzan Daniel in May 1996, and its presentation to the public in December of that year.

Suzan Daniel in Amsterdam in 1953, at the conference of the International Committee for Sexual Equality (ICSE)

In 1995-1996 the situation was simple: we had no money, and consequently no staff nor accommodation of our own.  25 years later we still run on a very tight budget, we still don’t own or rent any premises, and we still depend entirely on a limited number of volunteers.  But we really don’t consider this a major problem: our main focus is to manage our collection that in the meantime takes up more than 450 running metres of shelves.

This has always been the principal objective of the six founders: saving as much as possible of the LGBT* heritage, and making sure that is it kept in reliable conditions.  Another important element of our musing back during our first meetings: ensuring the continuation of our project, because the LGBT* archives were (and are) too important for them to depend solely upon the mood or the possibly short-term commitment of a couple of persons.

Partnership

Although ‘amateurs’ with no money, it was our firm conviction that the Fonds Suzan Daniel should work as professional as possible.  And it was clear for us right from the start that we couldn’t guarantee this on our own.  So we got in touch with a couple of professional (private) archival institutions, which resulted in a partnership agreement.  And in a win-win situation for everyone involved: our partners were interested in the LGBT* archives but lacked connections in this field, while we found some repositories (with the required archival storage conditions, with acid-free archives boxes etc.) to store our future collection.  And this for free!  Besides it allows us to benefit from our partners’ expertise.

The partnership agreement is however only a framework.  Every single transfer of an entity of records and/or documentation to one of our partners is being regulated by a contract.  This material is then being stored in the depots of one of our partners – chosen on the basis of some criteria – and can be consulted in its reading room during working hours.  But we are (very deliberately) actively involved in this process: the Fonds Suzan Daniel remains the owner (or at least manager) of its collection and we manage it very closely.  Our volunteers for instance make most of the inventories of archival records and catalogue the books, magazines, gadgets…  And in case the creator of the archives doesn’t have specific (and more strict) requirements, it is the Fonds Suzan Daniel that has the final say with regard to privacy protection, i.e. in the matter of which documents can or can’t be consulted for a specific aim (research, exhibition…).

Preparing our ‘open day’ in 2019, in one of our partner’s reading room

Some disadvantages

This formula however is not without some disadvantages.  The first being the fragmentation of our collection: it is not stored in one single place, but (at present) parts can be found in Louvain, Brussels and (two institutions in) Ghent, although most of the non-archival part is kept in just one of them.  But we don’t feel strongly about this disadvantage.  Before the Fonds Suzan Daniel was created, source material with regard to the LGBT* past and present was in fact already scattered: for instance judicial and police files in the State and City Archives, certain documents in University Archives or Libraries, and so on.  There are probably anyhow very few subjects for which a researcher can find all source material in one single cultural heritage institution.  And since the Fonds Suzan Daniel manages its collection very closely, we can always assist a researcher by pointing out what we have that might be interesting to him/her and where it can be found.  (And when they want to consult archival records, they always have to obtain our written permission beforehand.)

Anyway, working together with a couple of institutions – all with their own specialty – enables us in the meantime to anticipate the record creators’ preferences.

The disadvantage that we have to cope with the most, is the absence – for an outsider – of a (as such identifiable) building of our own.  Frequently we are asked where the Fonds Suzan Daniel is housed, and if it is in one of the so-called ‘rainbow houses’.  This question requires a complicated and rather time-consuming answer, and sometimes it’s a little bit difficult to explain.

Best possible choice in our context

But we remain convinced that the many advantages outweigh these disadvantages.  Without this formula we wouldn’t have been able to achieve what we now have.  A lot of archival institutions with own housing seem to be confined to their premises and hardly ever break out of it (trying) to reach the public in another city or region.  With respect to this the Fonds Suzan Daniel has a bit more freedom (although our limited budget doesn’t allow us to do all that we would like to do.)  Furthermore our partnership enables us to focus upon the essence (the LGBT* cultural heritage), instead of busying ourselves a considerable part of the time with making that possible (fundraising for accommodation, lobbying for subsidies, etc.).

And by the way, since the Fonds Suzan Daniel is the owner (or in some cases the manager) of its collection, there always is the option – when one day we would have enough money and some long-term guarantees, and if we would consider it beneficial – that we go our own way.  But that will not be the case in the foreseeable future.

On the contrary, the choice that we have made, has been copied by others.  Shortly after the foundation of the Fonds Suzan Daniel we were invited by the organization of professional archivists and librarians in Flanders to explain our pioneering scheme, which was considered an interesting novelty.  Since then similar initiatives have been set up regarding, for example, musical and architectural archives.

After 25 years we remain more than convinced that we’ve made the best possible choice, given the Belgian context at the time and in the present:

  • a couple of professional archives that were willing to extend their horizon;
  • a little group of motivated volunteers (with no budget), some of whom are working in the field of cultural heritage;

with the Fonds Suzan Daniel that is able to create a distinct profile; that is present at for instance Pride events and has become a familiar presence there; that manages its collection very closely; that operates as a trustworthy intermediary between the record creators, researchers… on the one hand and the professional archives where its collection is being kept at the other.

Some other important decisions

That very first meeting in October 1995 was not only important because of the partnership idea.  At the same time a couple of other important decisions were made concerning the future position of our initiative.

Firstly we certainly didn’t want to limit us to the LGBT* movement, but are potentially interested in every material (that is somehow relevant to the Belgian situation) with regard to homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, transgenderism, aids/hiv…

Secondly we want to remain independent, neutral and pluralistic.  In the past there have been a lot of disputes and even rifts within the movement (radicals vs. moderates, men vs. women, etc.), while the relationship between the movement and the commercial venues hasn’t always been very good…  Furthermore a lot of individual lesbians, gay men… don’t (want to) have anything to do with the movement.  As an archives that wants to save as much as possible of our heritage, the Fonds Suzan Daniel wants to be as acceptable as possible to as many archive creators as possible.  That means that we, as an organization, will never express any opinion.  And that we will never join a LGBT* umbrella organization.  (Because if we would become a member of one such umbrella organization, we would have to join every such initiative, now and in the future.)  But this doesn’t exclude us from trying to establish the best of relations with any group.

Our booth, just before the start of the Belgian Pride in Brussels, 2018

At the same time our responsibility regarding privacy protection was stressed.  And Suzan Daniel (= the pseudonym of the woman who in 1953 founded the first Belgian lesbigay emancipation group, but had been totally forgotten afterwards) was already suggested as a suitable name for our initiative.

Where we are now

After 25 years, we’ve certainly not achieved everything we aimed for, but at least we manage about 450 running metres of shelves with archives, books, magazines, posters, objects (e.g. hundreds of condom packagings)… and a growing number of electronic archives.  About 50 archival fonds have already been inventoried.  Another very valuable part is our documentary collection of leaflets, flyers, stickers, etc., produced by more than thousand LGBT* groups, bars, saunas, shops, media and so on.

Since the Fonds Suzan Daniel runs on a very tight budget, we’re not able to buy books, magazines… but have to rely upon donations.  This automatically means that we usually can’t offer the most current information.  We have learned to live with this deficiency as well, although it would be a lot more pleasant now and then to possess recent (non-fiction) publications.  On the other hand there are other institutions (the LGBT* movement, university libraries… as well as IHLIA that is very easily accessible from Belgium) that all can play their part.

And while most of our time and energy is spent on managing and expanding our collection, occasionally, we try to do something extra.  There’s been a project (including an exhibition and a publication) about 25 years of fighting hiv/aids in Flanders, a book with the stories of a dozen of lesbian and bisexual women born before 1945, and a large exhibition about gay novelist Georges Eekhoud (1854-1927), who according to the ‘Jahrbuch für sexuelle Zwischenstufen’ was a pioneer towards artistic representation of homosexuality and thereby making way for a poetic view on the uranian love.

Bart Hellinck

http://www.fondssuzandaniel.be

Organising lgbtq+ events at Täby public library, Sweden

Tamara Laketic, librarian and convenor of Täby lgbtq+ working group

The public library of Täby consists of one main library with an additional five branch libraries. Täby, a municipality with roughly 70 000 inhabitants is situated approximately eighteen miles (thirty kilometers) north of Stockholm. The decision to establish a lgbtq+ working group was conceded during the autumn of 2018; with the aim to create a rainbow-shelf, a shelf containing lgbtq+ related literature, for each library; as well as creating lgbtq+ related events. In the following text you will read about the challenges that Täby public library faced since starting its lgbtq+ program in 2019.

The working group arranged its first event in October of 2019. The event consisted of an interview with the queer author Moa-Lina Croall where they talked about their latest literary creation ‘I mitt namn – En bok om att vara trans’ (“In my name – a book on to be trans”)  accompanied by a discussion regarding the term queer (to be critical towards the norm), and its many meanings/definitions. The main objective being to raise awareness of the term queer in addition to uniting, and enlightening the people of our community.

Täby bibliotek, by Annica Clemens

Three days prior to the event an appeal to cancel it was sent by Steven Jörsäter; a representative of the right wing party Sverigedemokraterna to the head of the Culture and Leisure Department, as well as to the library director. Jörsäter argued that the event should be canceled due to its supposedly leftist values, and agenda. The aforementioned leftist values, and agenda was based on the term normkritik*. He argued that the term normkritik was used by left wing parties, and therefore made the event into a political event which the library is not allowed to host. The department of Culture and Leisure in unison with Täby library decided to hold the event as previously planned.

The event was held as planned with satisfactory attendance. The event received nationwide media attention in the following week due to Jörsäter’s appeal.

A few months later in December of 2019; Jörsäter proposed a bill to change the media policy of Täby library to the City Council. He argued that the following sentence in the media policy was political, and that it could be used to politically distort the library collection: “We distance ourselves from media that strongly violate human rights and everyone’s equal value; public interest, historical context, and literary value can justify exceptions” (Motion 16/12/2019). The bill was later declined by the City Council.

Fast forward to October of 2020. The working group in collaboration with the children’s department had booked an event titled ‘Bland drakar och dragqueens’ (Among dragons, and drag queens). It is an event where a drag queen reads fairy tales out loud aimed mainly towards children under the age of seven. The event has been quite popular in Sweden, and has been held at several libraries throughout the country.

Täby library received an email on the evening prior to the event it contained information from one of the citizens. The citizen informed Täby library that the Neo Nazi organisation Nordiska motståndsrörelsen (Nordic Resistance Movement) had posted a message of protest arguing that the event was propagating pedophelia among other accusations, on the entrance to the library. They had also sealed off the entrance by using their own barricade tape which carried their logo, and website. The police acted promptly, and by the time the staff arrived in the morning, all traces had been removed.

The event was held as planned under police surveillance due to the threat. The event gained media attention, and a day later the entrance was covered in heart shaped sticky notes containing messages of love, and protest towards NMR. This was a response to NMR by Liberala ungdomsförbundet Norrort (Youth wing of the Liberals).

Foto by Liberala ungdomsförbundet Norrort

Täby library has been able to organise one lgbtq+ event without any backlash during the November of 2020 when the actress, and trans activist Saga Becker talked about her debut novel, and how it is being trans in Sweden. The interview was filmed, and posted online. The hbtq+ working group has planned lgbtq+ training that will be held in March 2021.

IHLIA LGBTI Heritage

IHLIA LGBTI Heritage was founded in 1978, when a couple of (male) students and teachers at the University of Amsterdam – who were studying Gay Studies during this time of activism – decided that they had to start making information about homosexuality more visible themselves. Homodok (Documentation Center for Gay Studies ), as they called the center, started collecting literature and archival material that was considered ‘grey literature’ and was housed at the University of Amsterdam. At several other places during the eighties, women started their own lesbian archives. 

At the University of Amsterdam, one of the students involved in Homodok was Jack van der Wel (at the far right, standing) and he worked at the archives for forty years. He just recently retired but he is still active one day a week as a consultant.

After moving location a few times and merging with the Lesbian Archives Amsterdam and the Lesbian Archives Leeuwarden (Anna Blaman Huis), we changed our name to IHLIA (International Gay/Lesbian Information Centre and Archives). In 2007, we were invited to be housed in the Public Library of Amsterdam (OBA) and were granted a governmental subsidy. We are the largest independent LGBTI archive in Europe and are now called IHLIA LGBTI Heritage. We have our IHLIA square and information desk on the third floor of the OBA and this is where we receive our visitors: researchers, journalists, policymakers, writers, activists, students and artists from the Netherlands and all over the world. 

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Every three months, the IHLIA square shows a new exhibition in cooperation with people and organisations from within the LGBTQ community. Together with our archival collection, we thus share contemporary diverse perspectives and the history of LGBTQ life. 

We collect LGBTQ heritage and make it accessible in all forms. The main goal is to provide a library and archive that support research about LGBTQ life, both historically as within the humanities. Virtually, all kinds of information, from statistics to photographs, can be found in our collection. The library, which mainly consists of books, reports and magazines, is stored in the public library. These materials are not for loan. The personal and organisational archives are stored properly in the International Institute of Social History (IISH). 

Projects and websites

We have a lot of ongoing projects, so I will name just a few:

Homosaurus:

To retrieve and disseminate our LGBTQ archival collection, Jack van der Wel started the development of a Dutch thesaurus called the Homosaurus. For more information on what happened over the last two decades regarding the developing of the Homosaurus, which includes information on international (English) usage, you can go here. The most recent English version of the Homosaurus was intended to supplement existing thesauri and is now included as such in the Library of Congress Subject Headings.

Queering the collections:

Museums, libraries and archives belong to and are for everyone. But can everyone also identify with these collections? Without a doubt, the collections in the Netherlands contain heritage that tells something about the people we now identify as LGBTQ. Yet, most of the material isn’t on display. As such, these testimonials remain invisible and don’t even seem to exist. In collaboration with other institutions, IHLIA is trying to change this. With this initiative, it wants to inspire and stimulate museums to look at their collection differently so as to ‘queer their collections’. For more information about the latest developments within this project, take a look here.

Objects:

IHLIA not only collects magazines, books and grey literature but has a large collection of objects as well. These include buttons, T-shirts, beer coasters, condom wrappers, LGBTQ board games, matchboxes and much more. Using different platforms, this collection increasingly becomes digitally visible. Two great examples are: 

The Historypin website Gay and Lesbian Nightlife on which different kinds of objects are connected to bars and other nightlife places throughout Dutch history.

Our T-shirt collection, which is on display on this website.

Research website

An ongoing project is the science portal that aims to give an overview of everything that happens within the field of LGBTQ research. For example, it lists people in the Netherlands and Flanders who conduct LGBTQ research and their research, which can either be found in our archive or on their personal websites. It also announces upcoming conferences and (online) lectures or other talks. We cooperate with the Flemish–Dutch LGBTQ research network and keep them posted with a newsletter. Members of the network regularly provide blog posts for our website about current LGBTQ topics. The research website is still growing and under construction.

 Pink Life Histories:

In cooperation with the Amstelgroep (an organisation for the elderly), IHLIA started the Pink Life Stories project in 2012. On the basis of a number of conversations, trained volunteers sat together with a LGBTQ elder to write down their story in book form, including photos and other memorabilia. The storytellers ultimately decide for themselves what part of their story will be written down. Up until now, the collection consists of thirty-eight Pink Life Stories. Fourteen are full text available online (all in Dutch). IHLIA LGBTI Heritage considers it very important that these elders’ stories are documented, because very few people realize how the personal and social struggle for recognition and acceptance of their homosexuality differs from how things are now. The aim of this collection is to enable the storyteller to tell his/her/their story (sometimes for the first time), find recognition in it and preserve their life stories for the future. 

Open Up!:

Open Up! Is a (finished) project about the history of LGBTQ emancipation and development, mainly in Central, East and Southeast Europe. 

It focuses on these countries because LGBTQ rights in these regions are lagging behind compared to those in other parts of Europe. The archives and history of these brave movements contain unique documents. They can help us understand the changes in these countries and how they affect (or have affected) LGBTQ people, movements and organizations. In addition, these documents provide us with some background on our lesser-known heroes.

The purpose of Open Up! Is to make a large number of journals and organizational archives digitally accessible worldwide. These include magazines, newspapers, professional journals and texts from lectures, leaflets, policy memos, newsletters, meeting minutes and press releases. The entire collection either comes from IHLIA’s own archive, which consists of journals and organizational archives, or from the archives of international, European and local LGBTQ organizations. The Open Up! collection is now included in our web catalogue. It is available online, but you need an IHLIA account or a special tier 2 account to be able to consult it. 

Digitizing our collection:

Digitizing our collection is an ongoing process too. More and more, we receive digital material, but the majority of our collection still consists of paper material. Some of the magazines are already digitized, so we do have a large and growing digital library. Unfortunately, due to copyright regulations, this material is not available online. However, it can be consulted at our information desk. 

Increasingly, we work together with other platforms to share our collection with a broader public. One of these is Oorlogsbronnen.nl, a platform on which many different heritage organisations share their resources about the Second World War.

Due to Covid-19 measures, all of us – thirteen staff members – have been working from home most of the time since March 2020. We try to continue our work and manage to continue most of our activities, albeit from a distance. We had to become inventive with regard to providing information to our clients, because most of our collection is not yet digitized. With the help of a few of our eight volunteers and other recources, we manage to keep our information service going online, and sometimes live at the archive, although much less frequent. 

We continue to compile reading lists and thematic files for educational purposes. Not as often as before, we organize zine-making workshops and thematic meetings both live and online. We receive a lot of archival material from our LGBTQ community members, who now have the time to clear up their ‘attics’  and donate what they find. We also keep on organizing exhibitions, albeit online. 

We really hope to be able to work at our archive and office soon again. In the meantime, we do our utmost to keep our archive going as best as we can. 

Most of our website is in Dutch and another ongoing project is to translate the entire website into English. Hopefully, our current website will give a good impression of our archive and activities. 

Stay safe. 

Thea Sibbel (scientific information specialist)

thea@ihlia.nl

Initiatives for the inclusion of sexual diversity in public libraries in Peru / Iniciativas de inclusión de la diversidad sexual en bibliotecas públicas del Perú

A few complicated months that delayed the publication of these posts and I apologize for it but we are resuming the publication of this LGBTQ+ and libraries world tour with an excellent article by Alan Concepción-Cuenca, a Peruvian library professional who looks back on the situation in his country. Thanks to him. If you speak Spanish, the original version of the article is available below.

Unos meses complicados que retrasaron la publicación de estos posts y pido disculpas pero retomamos la publicación de este recorrido por el mundo de las bibliotecas y las audiencias LGBTQ + con un excelente artículo de Alan Concepción-Cuenca, un bibliotecario peruano que recuerda la situación en su país. Gracias a él. Si habla español, la versión original del artículo está disponible a continuación

Initiatives for the inclusion of sexual diversity in public libraries in Peru (english translation)

Author: Concepción-Cuenca, Alan (Peru)

What is the function of public libraries in a context in which sexual diversity is invisible? According to the IFLA / UNESCO Manifesto on the Public Library (IFLA, 1994), library services “are provided on the basis of equal access for all people, regardless of age, race, sex, religion, nationality, language or social status”.

In Peru, talking about sexual diversity is still a very complex issue, especially when a series of prejudices and stereotypes about the LGTBQ + community are manifested through the media. In 2017, the National Institute of Statistics and Informatics (INEI) carried out the First Virtual Survey for LGBTI Persons, from which worrying information was obtained on freedom of expression of identity, access to information and acts of discrimination.

Faced with this situation, public libraries must become institutions that contribute to the construction of inclusive societies. Through its services, collections, resources and activities, spaces for information, integration and respect for diversity should be generated. In recent years, public libraries have developed interesting initiatives compiled in the article Public libraries and sexual diversity: Peruvian initiatives against discrimination (ES), among which are mentioned:

  1. Film festivals and cycles. A program of films and documentaries about LGBTQ + themed film production.

2. Audiovisual projection. Videos with influential characters from the LGBTQ + community, who seek to make visible the need for attention to diversity.

Obras de teatro presentadas en la Biblioteca Nacional del Perú (2019)

3. Theater plays. The performing arts turned into a resource to raise awareness about social problems such as homophobia and transphobia. Theater plays presented at the National Library of Peru (2019)

4. Book presentations. Authors who through creative writing address sexual diversity from different perspectives.

5. Reading clubs and space for dialogue. Literary conversation and the telling of real stories, as activities that promote integration.

Clubes de lectura en la Biblioteca Municipal de Barranco, Lima (2019)
Bibliotecas Humanas en la Biblioteca Nacional del Perú (2018)

6. Read-aloud sessions. One of the most used strategies in public libraries to converse with children and adolescents, who always have questions and begin to discover new realities.

Reading of the book “Pink Monster” at the Fitekantropus Library, Lima (2019)

Finally, a separate mention deserves one of the most recent talks held by the National Library of Peru, as part of its Librarianship Program 2020, aimed at the online training of library staff. Session No. 7 entitled “Bodies that Matter (and Read): Bibliodiversity, Sexual Diversity and Body Dissidence” was in charge of the Chilean librarian Sebastián Santander. In this virtual session, the importance of developing collections with a gender and sexual diversity perspective in libraries was raised.

Conclusions

Public libraries must include the gender and diversity approach in their institutional policies across the board. For this, the library staff has the task of identifying the characteristics, information needs and interests of the LGBTQ + community. Based on this information, relevant library services can be designed and cultural outreach activities proposed that promote reflection and integration. Organizations and groups representing the LGBTQ + population can become allies for the common achievement of goals. Only if the public library provides openness to meeting, dialogue and inclusion of diversity, will it be contributing to the transformation of a more egalitarian society.

References

American Library Association. (2016). Open to All: Serving the GLBT Community in Your Library. Available at http://www.ala.org/rt/sites/ala.org.rt/files/content/professionaltools/160309-glbtrt-open-to-all-toolkit-online.pdf

Concepción-Cuenca, A. (2020). Public libraries and sexual diversity: Peruvian initiatives against discrimination. Lima: Oltet Magazine. Available at http://www.revistaotlet.com/perspectivas-bibliotecas-publicas-y-diversidad-sexual

International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. (1994). IFLA / UNESCO Manifesto on the Public Library. Available at https://www.ifla.org/ES/publications/manifiesto-de-la-ifla-unesco-sobre-la-biblioteca-p-blica-1994

National Institute of Statistics and Informatics. (2017). First Virtual Survey for LGBTI People. Available at https://www.inei.gob.pe/media/MenuRecu

Español

Iniciativas de inclusión de la diversidad sexual en bibliotecas públicas del Perú

Autor: Concepción-Cuenca, Alan (Perú)

¿Cuál es la función de las bibliotecas públicas en un contexto en el que diversidad sexual es invisibilizada? De acuerdo con el Manifiesto de la IFLA/UNESCO sobre la Biblioteca Pública (IFLA, 1994), los servicios bibliotecarios “se prestan sobre la base de igualdad de acceso para todas las personas, sin tener en cuenta su edad, raza, sexo, religión, nacionalidad, idioma o condición social”.

En el Perú, hablar sobre diversidad sexual es todavía un tema muy complejo, sobre todo cuando se manifiestan una serie de prejuicios y estereotipos sobre la comunidad LGTBQ+, a través de los medios de comunicación. En el 2017, el Instituto Nacional de Estadística e Informática (INEI) realizó la Primera Encuesta Virtual para Personas LGBTI, de la que se obtuvo información preocupante sobre la libertad de expresión de la identidad, el acceso a la información y los actos de discriminación.

Ante esta situación, las bibliotecas públicas se deben convertir en instituciones que aportan a la construcción de sociedades inclusivas. A través de sus servicios, colecciones, recursos y actividades, se deben generar espacios de información, integración y respeto por la diversidad. En los últimos años, desde las bibliotecas públicas se han desarrollado interesantes iniciativas recopiladas en el artículo Bibliotecas públicas y diversidad sexual: iniciativas peruanas contra la discriminación, entre las que se mencionan:

  1. Festivales y ciclos de cine. Una programación de películas y documentales en torno a la producción cinematográfica de temática LGBTQ+.
  1. Proyección audiovisual. Videos con personajes influyentes de la comunidad LGBTQ+, que buscan visibilizar la necesidad de atención a la diversidad.
  2. Obras de teatro. Las artes escénicas convertidas en un recurso para sensibilizar sobre problemáticas sociales como la homofobia y la trasfobia.
Obras de teatro presentadas en la Biblioteca Nacional del Perú (2019)

  1. Presentaciones de libros. Autores y autoras que a través de la escritura creativa abordan la diversidad sexual desde diversas perspectivas.
  2. Clubes de lectura y espacio de diálogo. La conversación literaria y la narración de historias reales, como actividades que propician la integración.
Clubes de lectura en la Biblioteca Municipal de Barranco, Lima (2019)

Bibliotecas Humanas en la Biblioteca Nacional del Perú (2018)

  1. Sesiones de lectura en voz alta. Una de las estrategias más utilizadas en las bibliotecas públicas para conversar con niñas, niños y adolescentes, quienes siempre tienen preguntas y comienzan a descubrir nuevas realidades.
Lectura del libro “Monstruo Rosa” en la Biblioteca Fitekantropus, Lima (2019)

Finalmente, mención aparte merece uno de los más recientes conversatorios realizados por la Biblioteca Nacional del Perú, como parte de su Programa de Bibliotecología 2020, destinado a la formación en línea del personal bibliotecario. La sesión nº 7 denominada “Cuerpos que importan (y leen): Bibliodiversidad, diversidad sexual y disidencia corporal” estuvo a cargo del bibliotecólogo chileno Sebastián Santander. En esta sesión virtual, se planteó la importancia del desarrollo de colecciones con perspectiva de género y diversidad sexual en las bibliotecas.

Conclusiones

Las bibliotecas públicas deben incluir de forma transversal el enfoque de género y diversidad en sus políticas institucionales. Para ello, el personal de la biblioteca tiene la labor de identificar las características, necesidades informativas e intereses de la comunidad LGBTQ+. Sobre la base de esa información, se podrán diseñar servicios bibliotecarios pertinentes y proponer actividades de extensión cultural que promuevan la reflexión y la integración. Las organizaciones y los colectivos representativos de la población LGBTQ+ pueden convertirse en aliados para el logro común de objetivos. Solo si la biblioteca pública brinda apertura al encuentro, el diálogo y la inclusión de la diversidad, estará contribuyendo a la transformación de una sociedad más igualitaria.

Referencias

American Library Association. (2016). Open to All: Serving the GLBT Community in Your Library. Disponible en http://www.ala.org/rt/sites/ala.org.rt/files/content/professionaltools/160309-glbtrt-open-to-all-toolkit-online.pdf

Concepción-Cuenca, A. (2020). Bibliotecas públicas y diversidad sexual: iniciativas peruanas contra la discriminación. Lima: Revista Oltet. Disponible en http://www.revistaotlet.com/perspectivas-bibliotecas-publicas-y-diversidad-sexual

International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. (1994). Manifiesto de la IFLA/UNESCO sobre la biblioteca pública. Disponible en https://www.ifla.org/ES/publications/manifiesto-de-la-ifla-unesco-sobre-la-biblioteca-p-blica-1994

Instituto Nacional de Estadística e Informática. (2017). Primera Encuesta Virtual para Personas LGBTI. Disponible en https://www.inei.gob.pe/media/MenuRecursivo/boletines/lgbti.pdf

Observatorio Nacional de la Violencia Contra las Mujeres y los Integrantes del Grupo Familiar. (2019). La violencia por orientación sexual e identidad de género. Disponible en https://observatorioviolencia.pe/comprendiendo-la-violencia-por-orientacion-sexual-e-identidad-de-genero/#

Concepción-Cuenca, Alan (Perú)

Es profesional en Ciencias de la Información por la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, bibliotecario y coordinador del Grupo Impulsor de Bibliotecas Comunales.

LGBTQ+ issues in a library association: the French Légothèque working group

Fighting against stereotypes in libraries is very important. It is our role as librarians and information professionals to be open and to welcome every single user, in its own singularity. It seems that our institutions really have a role to play in the free diffusion of culture and, therefore, can lead the public to discover and open up to the world around them in all its forms.

If the world is a “space in crisis“, to use Michèle Petit’s expression[1], not only from an economic point of view but also according to the acceleration of social transformations, the increase of disparities and inequalities cultural and social, it seems to us that the library must oppose to it a space of opportunities, favoring the meeting of the other in oneself and facilitating the construction or the reconstruction of the individual.

It appears more specifically that issues related to multiculturalism, gender, sexual and sentimental orientation, are areas that allow us as professionals to rethink our missions, our services, and thereby our spaces and access to our collections. Growing and living and struggling in our societies is not easy for everyone, that’s why we created the working group Légothèque, at the French librarians’ association.

The library as a cultural institution and more importantly, librarians as mediators of the book and information, as cultural smugglers, really have a role to play in the construction of the individual by giving him access to collections and spaces in which he can question, construct and affirm what he is, what he wants to be, what he thinks himself to be.

  1. Légothèque and the French librarians association

To put it in the French context, the French librarians’ association (Association des bibliothécaires de France – AbF) was founded in 1906, and was recognized as a public utility in 1969.

It is the oldest library association in France, a country who loves to duplicate professional associations in multiples entities (one for academic libraries – ADBU ; one for major town libraries – ADBGV ; one for regional libraries – ABD ; etc.). The aim of the association is to promote the role of libraries in society through political statements (sustainable development, school libraries, public story times, support for harassed libraries), to foster professional debates by organising study days and publishing books, or to offer training to new information professionals. AbF has more than 3000 members (professionals and volunteers) which is not that much in a country like France but still is important and make it heard.

It holds a partnership with other associations and institutions for persons working in the books and information profession, and participate in the IABD (Interassociation Archives-Libraries-Documentation), formed during the DAVDSI bill. It also maintains structured international relations in the framework of IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions), Eblida (European Bureau of Library Information and Documentation), Liber (League of European Research Libraries) and other organizations international cooperation.

AbF is led by a national council made up of the presidents of the 21 regional groups (who carry out local actions in phase with the specificities of each region) and 20 convenors of working groups on jail/hospital libraries, accessibility, videogames, trans literacy, advocacy, ethics, trainings… and, of course, Légothèque. This council defines the policy of the association and elects the governing board.

As a working group, Légothèque was born in 2012 with the aim to work on libraries as a tool to facilitate individuals’ self-construction: how spaces, programming, collections and services can empower citizen, especially when they have specific issues such as gender issues, multiculturalism issues, sexual orientation issues. And these were terribly topical themes: in the very first years we were fighting versus censorship in public libraries, help librarians during same-sex marriage debates, or explaining to patrons and librarians that the famous “gender theory” does not exist at all, or creating a safe space for immigrants and refugees.

The name “Légothèque” refers to the Lego building game, to the ego, that is to say to oneself in Latin, but also to the verb to read in Latin (lego, legis, legere). At the same time, it refers to libraries (- “thèque”). It has a subtitle: « librairies, self-construction, fight against stereotypes ».

Accompanying the expression of minorities must also make it possible to fight against stereotypes by encouraging encounters and, if not creating awareness, at least facilitate the taking into account of differences. The challenge is to highlight the minorities in order to create surprise, to propose turns and detours to unexpected encounters and to encourage dialogue. The idea is not to tell patrons what to think, of course, but to give them tools to forge their own opinion based on scientific data and concepts.

We work toward both patrons and librarians, offering tools, advices and help for the latter, collection, spaces, services, welcoming for the firsts. Once again, we stress the importance of welcoming, the quality of presence, the fact of considering everyone as a subject, to be available. We must emphasize the importance of proposing collections, programming that address a multiplicity of points of view, not only favouring the dominant culture, conditions that are essential for proposing bridges between cultures. It is therefore not important for individuals to borrow or use resources, at least to feel recognized and welcomed, at least to open a place of possibilities.

Regarding LGBTQ+ people, it means making visible and giving back their place to LGBTQI + people and issues, namely, to enable LGBT youth to build themselves, for young people to find role models or legal resources, to make empowerment simply, but also to show cisgender and heterosexual people the existence of such collections and such issues. All the more important at a time when the aggressions are multiplying and where LGBTQI + phobias are disinhibiting. Not so much to say “the PMA is great” as to give examples of homo-parental families through which everyone can form his own opinion. It should be noted that often a LGBT thematic in the library is a gay man’s theme and that a special effort should be made around the other identities of the acronym.

Today, Légothèque has 15 members (from all kind of libraries, academic, special, public libraries, but no school librarians as they are more considered as teachers than librarians in France). As a working group, it aims to grow reflections within the association, help professionals with tools, advices, trainings and relay what takes place at the international level.

Légothèque’s flyer

  • Situation in France

Before I go further, I want you to pay attention of the French situation: of course, we’re lucky. Neither homosexuality nor trans-identity are considered a mental disease (since 1981 for homosexuality, 2010 for trans-identity), homophobia is punishable by law (2004), and same-sex marriage is legal (2013)[2]. This year the French government built an anti-cyber-harassment brigade and the Ministry of Higher Education has launched a list of measures “to promote the inclusion of transgender people in student life and LGBT + students in general“. Among them: the recognized first name for the registration, the change of first name recognized on the diploma, the optional male/female mention on documents, the signing of a charter, etc.

However, everything is far from perfect. The same-sex marriage debates have released hate and homophobia and, these past years, violence against LGBTQ+ people have increased. According to SOS Homophobie association, 2018 was a dark year for LGBTQ+ people in France with 1,905 testimonials of LGBT-phobic acts collected by the association, which is a 15% increase over 2017. Lesbophobia continues to grow: +42% in one year. As for physical aggression reported to SOS homophobia, their numbers faced an increase of 66%[3].

So we have to work on these issues and to help patrons.

Of course, we also consider some issues:

  • How to be neutral when being a librarian, in France, when it is “compulsory” to be a civil servant? The principle of equality and neutrality in public service is a major one. Equality in public service is a logical translation of the principle of equality before the law as proclaimed by the Declaration of Human Rights. This principle has a constitutional value. The principle of neutrality outlaws any distinction based on religious, political, philosophical, ethnic, or cultural affiliation. Is serving specific communities, which is often understood as serving communautarism, a system that harms integration by dividing the nation[4].
  • Another question is when, in a municipal setting, the library exists between the will of the elected officials and the work of librarians. In law, they are each carrying legitimacy, democratic for the first, and professional for the second. Of course, there are threats to budgets like everywhere else, but what happens when your mayor asks you to hide LGBTQ+ books? He is your boss, how do you react and underline your very own legitimacy?

Regarding these issues, we have here a few challenges to solve:

  • Social issues: Promoting diversity;
  • Digital issues: Respect for life privacy, raise a cyber-awareness discriminatory harassment; Gender issues, for example coding and games for girls (sessions in mixed choice?)
  • Professional issues: Facilitate the recognition of LGBTQ+ collections in the catalogue as well (which key words are used for indexing? Which classification to used when we know that Dewey does not help us? How to promote?: using a pink shelf or not?); Recall the role of professional documents, charters validated to protect colleagues; to admit the changes of pronoun, the question of mixed toilets or not, reducing administrative hassle, raising awareness of the structural obstacles that may arise…

And that’s why we created Légotheque working group, to promote the idea of a library not only open and tolerant, but also truly active.

Lately, at our later French annual congress, we distributed a survey on LGBTQ+ and libraries. It appears that librarians are not really trained to welcome these specific patrons and their very own tools does not help them either. Library catalogues obliged you to specify the gender of your patron at the risk of misidentifying their gender. In French libraries, there are scarcely specifics places and collections, even few specific services and programming (when there are ones, it is workshop, FB posts, conferences… from time to time without real consideration or strategy.

So, as a working group in a librarians’ association, what do we do?

  • What do Légothèque do to fight stereotypes?

At first, we began to share information about various initiatives from our various communities. We have a blog where we have a post per week, including our watches summary, books selected by various libraries, and some reflections. We also introduce thematic libraries and write about academic essays. For example, when Lille’s Faculty of Law showed an exhibition highlighting the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, we asked them the objectives of such an exhibition, the reaction of users, how it fit in the library project, etc.

 We also maintain a collaborative watch on Diigo, and feed a collaborative intelligence that allows anyone interested it to subscribe to it. It enables us to get informed on what happens in our domains of interest and helps us to write posts for the blog. The posts can be what libraries do for the Day Against Violence Against Women; relay a study day on stereotypes in youth literature; promote training, which fosters gender equality in media; highlight a selective bibliography to deconstruct the stereotypes; alert about sexual violence in library etc.

Of course, we work within AbF on our subjects, and it is very important for us to work also within the association and make it change from the inside. Thanks to the working group, AbF signed the national commitment agreement for communication without gender stereotypes; opened non-gendered toilet at the annual congress or published political statements on our subject.

We actively build tools to help other professionals address these issues. We build collections with bibliographies, but also to help them react against censorship by giving them a reminder of the fundamental texts and values that underline the profession of librarian, reminding them of elements concerning the document charter, giving clarification on the “gender theory” or reminding of them of similar events, and publishing reactions from colleagues in press. We even created tools such as a free downloadable exhibition on gender for them to promote in their very own libraries and a google map with LGBTQ+ collections in French libraries. Of course, we take part of reflection by publishing articles in the French librarians’ magazine and work with other associations like IFLA LGBTQ+ SIG.

Finally, we try to train professionals, by raising their awareness and conscience of these issues in the libraries. We organised living libraries, roundtables, and offer mixed toilets at AbF’s annual congress.

sign and explanatory text announcing mixed toilets at the 2019 Congress of the AbF

We also work with training centre and libraries to build efficient training sessions (on advocacy, professional practices, discrimination, representation in movies or in videogames, etc.) and, of course, participating in and even creating professional study days and conferences. Examples of these efforts include diversity in youth literature (2019), neutrality and librarianship (2018), and libraries and citizenship (2018) for the most recent ones.

Conclusion

Having a thematic working group in your professional association is more than a chance, it is a tool and a considerable force to change minds and bring more empowerment to your colleagues, as well as to your patrons.

Because we hope to promote the idea of a library that is not only open and tolerant, but also active, this group of “libraries, self-construction and fight against stereotypes” has the goal of sharing references and working with the community of librarians interested in these issues.

We are hopeful about uniting our energy already working in this direction, creating new synergies sharing our experiences and fostering new projects for the future.

Acknowledgments

We thank all Légothèque members, past, present and future for their commitment in the working group, and to the AbF who made this possible.

References

Bats, Raphaëlle. “Après la bataille : neutralité, pluralisme et bibliothèques” [French] in Crieur Public. Available at : https://crieurspublics.blogspot.com/2017/04/apres-la-bataille-neutralite-pluralisme.html

CHAIMBAULT, Thomas. “Nouveau coup de semonce contre les bibliothèques” [French] in Vagabondages. Available at : http://www.vagabondages.org/post/2014/02/12/L-increvable-spectre-de-la-censure

“Commission Légothèque” [French] in Association des bibliothécaires de France. Available at : http://abf.asso.fr/

“Droits LGBT en France” [French] in Wikipedia. Available at : https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Droits_LGBT_en_France

“Légothèque : Bibliothèques, construction de soi et lutte contre les stéréotypes” [French]. Blog available at : https://legothequeabf.wordpress.com/

PETIT, Michèle. “La lecture dans des espaces en crise” [French] in Actes du colloque international “Littérature et pratiques d’enseignement, apprentissage : difficultés et résistances”, organisé par l’IUFM d’Aix-Marseille, du 20 au 22 octobre 2005

PETIT, Michèle. Éloge de la lecture : la construction de soi, Editions Belin, collection Nouveaux mondes, 2002

SOS HOMOPHOBIE. Rapport sur l’homophobie 2019 [French]. Paris: 2019. Available at https://www.sos-homophobie.org/sites/default/files/rapport_homophobie_2019_interactif.pdf


[1] Michèle Petit is a French anthropologist. Her research interests include reading, relationship with books and libraries, reading in crisis spaces, and its role in self-construction.

[2] See at : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_France

[3]Rapport sur l’homophobie 2019 [in french]. Paris: 2019. Available at https://www.sos-homophobie.org/sites/default/files/rapport_homophobie_2019_interactif.pdf

[4] Read for instance, that blogpost [in French] : https://crieurspublics.blogspot.com/2017/04/apres-la-bataille-neutralite-pluralisme.html

BAnQ est fière / BAnQ is proud

Please, read english version below

Par Jennifer Ricard, bibliothécaire à l’Espace Jeunes de la Grande Bibliothèque, responsable de BAnQ est fière, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec

Image : iStockphoto

À Montréal, la célébration de la Fierté LGBTQ+ a lieu chaque année en août. Depuis 2018, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) se joint à cette célébration en offrant une panoplie d’activités et de suggestions de lecture dans le cadre de BAnQ est fière.

L’idée de créer BAnQ est fière est née d’une heure du conte avec la drag queen Barbada de Barbades en octobre 2017. La réponse du public ce jour-là avait été au-delà de nos attentes : plus de 100 participants se sont présentés pour écouter les histoires, poser des questions et prendre des photos avec la vedette de la journée. Quand nous l’avons invitée à nouveau en mars 2018, elle a été accueillie avec autant d’enthousiasme.

Photo : Matt Sirois

Cette réponse du public montrait clairement qu’il fallait que les communautés de la diversité sexuelle et de genre soient mieux représentées dans l’offre culturelle de BAnQ. De plus, la Grande Bibliothèque, la bibliothèque publique de notre institution, avoisine le Village gai à Montréal et emploie de nombreux membres de ces communautés. Je crois fermement que créer un lieu inclusif et accueillant pour ces personnes est au cœur de notre mission.

La première année,  BAnQ est fière a été d’envergure plutôt modeste. Barbada est revenue, bien sûr, nous avons fait des macarons arc-en-ciel, nous avons invité des « livres humains » trans, bisexuels et bispirituels pour parler de leurs réalités et nous avons organisé un atelier Wiki pour alimenter les pages LGBTQ+ québécoises.

En 2019, après le succès de la première édition, nous avons décidé d’étaler nos activités sur les 10 jours de la Fierté avec de nombreuses activités aussi diversifiées que les communautés célébrées. Nous avons même décoré notre bibliothèque de couleurs arc-en-ciel et fait une vidéo promo avec notre grande ambassadrice, Barbada. Je lui laisse l’honneur de vous présenter les activités de cette année-là.

Photo : Jennifer Ricard

BAnQ est fière 🏳‍🌈
Cinéma, conférence, ateliers, labo techno, heure du conte… Un arc-en-ciel d’activités pour tous, du 8 au 18 août 2019! 🌈
Programmation détaillée ➡ http://banq.qc.ca/fierte
Publié par Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec / Grande Bibliothèque sur Mercredi 7 août 2019 [RJ1] 

Nos plans pour 2020 ont été durement affectés par la pandémie, comme ce fut le cas pour tous les autres grands événements à Montréal. Nous avons donc réagi rapidement pour créer une offre virtuelle aussi étoffée que ce que nous avions prévu en présentiel. Les activités ci-dessous sont toutes gratuites et en ligne. Elles ont donc eu l’avantage d’être accessibles dans tout le Québec et toute la francophonie !

  • 7 août : Visionnement de Drag Kids
  • 8 août : L’Heure du conte avec une drag queen
  • 11 août : Club de lecture éphémère : BAnQ est fière de lire Au 5e de MP Boisvert
  • 12 août : L’Heure du conte spéciale : les enfants et le genre
  • 12 août : Bibliothèque vivante : Conserver la mémoire de la diversité
  • 12 août : Club de lecture éphémère : BAnQ est fière de lire Au 5e de MP Boisvert
  • 14 août : BAnQ est fière de rencontrer MP Boisvert
  • 14 août : Visionnement d’Amours interdites, suivi d’une période de questions avec une des coréalisatrices.
  • 15 août : La diversité sexuelle ici et ailleurs
  • 18 août : Wiki Fierté

Vous pouvez trouver tous les détails dans notre calendrier des activités.

La nouveauté de l’année est une plus grande participation du public. Nous avons lancé une lecture communautaire du roman Au 5e de MP Boisvert le 15 juillet dernier. Ceci culminera avec des clubs de lecture en ligne et une rencontre avec l’auteure. Nous faisons aussi un appel à tous pour des photos libres de droits pour alimenter les pages Wikipédia LGBTQ+ du Québec. Finalement, nos bibliographies de l’année incluront des suggestions de lectures de nos nombreux partenaires.

Comme mon institution, je suis très fière de participer au rayonnement des artistes et créateurs issus des communautés de la diversité sexuelle et de genre et de contribuer à la création d’une société plus ouverte et inclusive. C’est mon souhait que BAnQ est fière vive encore longtemps et prenne plus d’importance chaque année. Mais avant tout, j’espère continuer à tisser des liens forts avec les communautés de la diversité sexuelle et de genre à Montréal et au Québec.

Bonne Fierté à tous! J’espère vous croiser lors de nos activités virtuelles!

Photo : Sylvie Gelinas

Si vous avez des questions à propos de BAnQ est fière, vous pouvez m’écrire à jennifer.ricard@banq.qc.ca ou par Twitter @jenjoou.

ENGLISH VERSION

BAnQ Is Proud

By Jennifer Ricard, children’s librarian at the Grande Bibliothèque, and person responsible for BAnQ est fière, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec

Image : iStockphoto

August is the month LGBTQ+ Pride is celebrated in Montréal every year. Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) has participated in this celebration since 2018, offering a wide range of activities and reading suggestions as part of BAnQ est fière (BAnQ Is Proud).

We got the idea for BAnQ est fière after a storytime with the drag queen Barbada de Barbades, in October 2017. The public’s response that day took us by surprise: over a hundred participants showed up to hear stories, ask questions, and take pictures with our glamorous guest. When we invited her back in March 2018, the audience was equally enthusiastic.

Photo : Matt Sirois

This response from the public made it clear that sexual and gender diversity communities needed to be better represented in BAnQ’s cultural offerings. In addition, our institution’s public library – the Grande Bibliothèque – is located next to Montréal’s gay village and employs many members of these communities. I am convinced that creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for them is part of our core mission.

BAnQ est fière was modest in scale the first year. Barbada was back, of course. We made rainbow buttons. We invited trans, bisexual and two-spirit “human books” to talk about their realities, and we organized a Wiki workshop to add to Québec’s LGBTQ+ pages.

In 2019, in the wake of the first edition’s success, we decided to spread our activities over the ten days of Montreal Pride, providing multiple activities as diverse as the communities we were celebrating. We even decorated our library with rainbow colours and made a promotional video with our number one ambassador, Barbada. I’ll let her introduce our activities from that year.


BAnQ est fière 🏳‍🌈
Cinéma, conférence, ateliers, labo techno, heure du conte… Un arc-en-ciel d’activités pour tous, du 8 au 18 août 2019! 🌈
Programmation détaillée ➡ http://banq.qc.ca/fierte
Publié par Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec / Grande Bibliothèque sur Mercredi 7 août 2019 [RJ2] 

Our plans for 2020, like those for every other major festival in Montréal, were severely affected by the pandemic. We quickly set up a virtual programme as extensive as our planned in-person activities. All the activities listed below are free and take place online (in French, except where indicated). Among other benefits, they’re accessible throughout Québec and the whole of the French-speaking world!

  • August 7: Screening of Drag Kids (in English with French subtitles)
  • August 8: Storytime with a drag queen
  • Agust 11: Pop-up book club about Au 5e by MP Boisvert
  • August 12: Special storytime: Children and gender
  • August 12: Human library: Preserving the memory of diversity
  • August 12: Pop-up book club about Au 5e by MP Boisvert
  • August 14: Author meeting with MP Boisvert
  • August 14: Screening of Amours interdites (in English with French subtitles), followed by a Q&A session with one of the codirectors
  • August 15: Sexual diversity, here and elsewhere
  • August 18: Wiki Pride

For more details, see our calendar of activities.

What’s new this year is greater audience participation. On July 15, we launched a community reading of Au 5e, a novel by MP Boisvert, to be followed by online book clubs and a meeting with the author. We’re also putting out a call for photographs in the public domain that will enhance Québec’s LGBTQ+ Wikipedia pages. Lastly, our bibliographies for the year will include reading suggestions from our many partners.

Like the institution I work for, I’m very proud of helping to ensure a wider audience for artists and creators from sexual and gender diversity communities, and of helping to build a more open and inclusive society. I hope that BAnQ est fière will keep going for a long time, increasing its scope every year. But above all, I hope to keep on building strong relationships with LGTBQ+ communities in Montréal and throughout Québec.

Happy Pride to all, and I hope to meet you at our virtual events!

Photo : Sylvie Gelinas

If you have questions about BAnQ est fière, you can write to me at jennifer.ricard@banq.qc.ca, or on Twitter @jenjoou


 [RJ1]Vidéo de Barbada

 [RJ2]Vidéo de Barbada

Adressing LGBTQ Users virtually

Due to lockdown, Libraries activities have been curtailed and Programs usually organised in June due to LGBTQ Pride Month could not take place as planned. The buildings remains closed.

But these closings did not stop colleagues from organizing and offering online resources and entertainment to highlight the history and cultures of LGBT audiences.

At first, and like every year, librarians underline collections with LGBT themes. While we previously had displays with LGBT titles, our colleagues gather and report these collections on a dedicated web page. Thus, you can find online bibliographies (for example in Boston, or in Chicago) often according to the age of the audience, sound resources (Los Angeles offers a discography as well as conference podcasts), even conference videos whether or not from the library’s own collections. University libraries also have dedicated resources.

More broadly, it is an opportunity to widen the spectrum of resources by highlighting archival and historical documents: this “pride month” commemorates among other things the riots of Stonewall (1969) and the first Marches are therefore held in 1970, just 50 years ago. Difficult to miss this symbolic anniversary. This is what the Library of Congress is trying to promote in particular. Beyond that, American and more generally Anglo-Saxon libraries take the opportunity to recall the history of the Pride and Equal Rights Marches (here the British Library in the United Kingdom, including an interesting article on transgender identities) Even ALA puts it that offers an article on the subject in its monthly review.

These resources are then gathered within specific pages which highlight specific collections, services and events on LGBT themes (here in Canada, there in the United States).

Don’t believe, then, that closing Libraries discourage colleagues from offering activities. You will thus find manual workshops to carry out at home (a wreath in the colors of the rainbow, a dessert of rainbow candies …) and especially a whole set of online events:

Libraries offer virtual programmings throughout the month:
– hour of virtual storytelling on LGBT themes,
– stories told from Drag-Queens online,
– online conferences,
– online text readings,
– reading clubs around LGBT literature…

The mission of these Marches remains, despite restrictions related to health measures: to remind members of LGBTQI + communities and their allies that they are not alone, that they are part of a broader movement in favor of equality rights, and that their voices like that of other marginalized groups count, this year especially with the uprisings that followed the death of George Floyd and other blacks by the police. In the programs thus appear proposals precisely to make more visible LGBT black people and more widely to oppose the police persecutions, that these events are proposed by the libraries or by the LGBTQ communities themselves, the libraries then making the relay (here in PIMA or in the NY Times).

On saturday 27, there was a global pride and some libraries do advertise on this major event.

And since the March is also a celebration, several establishments have also offered festive moments, Zoom Dance Parties and online performances. The librarians themselves are not left out, who offered a festive webinar on June 06, entitled “Librarians in QUEERantine” with:
– Musical performances (from a lesbian DJ librarian, yes)
– Hourly storytelling performances narrated by a Drag Queen (Electra Young)
– A presentation of Queeriodicals archive work by Meg Metcalfe
– An investigation game
– Presentations from LGBT groups of ALA and IFLA.

Librarians are proud.

And how about you ? What did you do for pride month ?

A gender and diversity group at the Association of Graduate Librarians of the Argentine Republic

author : Jessica Castaño

Spanish version underneath

The Association of Graduate Librarians of the Argentine Republic was born with the aim of giving a dynamic character to the national library movement, achieving greater insertion and social recognition of the work of librarians, and promoting the fundamental role that libraries play as depositary institutions of the knowledge of humanity. Among its functions are union representation and the defense of the professional interests of graduate librarians in Argentina.

ABGRA Website

Understanding that the current situation challenges us in terms of gender perspective, sexual diversity and emancipatory social movements, in line with the SDGs and their concern to work in favor of gender equality, in line with IFLA’s strategic guidelines for the period 2019-2024 and taking into account the activities already proposed and implemented by IFLA and its groups (Women, Information and Libraries Special Interest Group; LGBTQ Users Special Interest Group), the Subcommittee on Gender and Diversity has been created and offers:

  • Monitor practices and experiences related to gender equality in libraries.
  • Collect data and produce, communicate and distribute systematic information.
  • Disseminate experiences from the country and the region, promoting dialogue to support librarians to address concerns about library services in relation to gender and sexual diversity.
  • Promote good practices, promoting networking and virtual connections.
  • Carry out training activities in relation to the topics of our competence, namely: gender perspective, violence against women, gender equity, sexual diversity, discrimination based on gender or orientation. sexuality, feminism, LGBT + movements, Comprehensive Sex Education, among others.
  • Establish institutional relationships with organizations that deal with similar issues.

Throughout history, it has been shown that certain practices have served to hide and silence dissident discourses. At the current juncture it is not possible to continue ignoring that certain identities and themes in relation to gender were buried under the weight of other hegemonic discourses, most of them patriarchal. Libraries, as institutions that democratize information, have the obligation to provide unrestricted access, but not only that, but rather that the library must be inclusive in terms of services and create a pleasant space for both its users and the staff that, for example, belong to the LGBTQ + community.

There are topics that are still taboo today and are not easy to tackle. In some cases it is attributed to a generational issue, sometimes it is thought to be cultural. The reality is that the library must keep pace with society or faster than that. Just as we think about the educational curriculum, the omissions and silences that occur there according to hegemonic discourses, we can think about the development of the collection in the library. What omissions and what silences are evidenced by which discourses? Can we stand in front of our collection and read between the lines what is being said and what is not being said?

ABGRA Instagram

The gender perspective asks about the relations between genders, the expected hierarchical order between them and the processes of rupture in that order. Starting from the idea of ​​gender as a sociocultural elaboration, it investigates the social position of women and generic-sexual dissidences throughout history based on discourses of power. This perspective has begun to reach libraries slowly. Still in many cases it seems to be a foreign issue to our spaces. However, as with each change in the context in which the library is embedded, we must listen to the demands of the users and act accordingly.

Link : http://abgra.org.ar/
contact generoydiversidad@abgra.org.ar

Spanish version

La Asociación de Bibliotecarios Graduados de la República Argentina, nació con el objetivo de imprimir un carácter dinámico al movimiento bibliotecario nacional, lograr una mayor inserción y reconocimiento social de la labor de los bibliotecarios, y promover el papel, fundamental, que cumplen las bibliotecas en su carácter de instituciones depositarias del conocimiento de la humanidad. Entre sus funciones se destacan la representación gremial y la defensa de los intereses profesionales de los bibliotecarios graduados de Argentina.

https://i2.wp.com/abgra.org.ar/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Logo-ABGRA_vertical_alta_grande.png

Entendiendo que la actual coyuntura nos interpela en términos de perspectiva de género, diversidad sexual y movimientos sociales emancipatorios, en línea con los ODS y su preocupación por trabajar en favor de la equidad de género, en sintonía con las directivas estratégicas de la IFLA para el período 2019-2024 y teniendo como horizonte las actividades ya propuestas e implementadas por la IFLA y sus grupos (Women, Information and Libraries Special Interest Group; LGBTQ Users Special Interest Group) se ha creado la subcomisión de trabajo Género y diversidad, la cual se propone:

  • Monitorear prácticas y experiencias en relación con la equidad de género en bibliotecas.
  • Recopilar datos y producir, comunicar y distribuir información sistemática.
  • Difundir experiencias del país y la región, impulsando el diálogo para apoyar a los bibliotecarios a abordar las inquietudes acerca de los servicios bibliotecarios en relación a género y diversidad sexual.
  • Promover buenas prácticas, fomentando el trabajo en red y las conexiones virtuales.
  • Llevar a cabo actividades de capacitación en relación a las temáticas de nuestra competencia, a saber: perspectiva de género, violencia contra las mujeres, equidad de género, diversidad sexual, discriminación por motivos de género u orientación. sexual, feminismo, movimientos LGBT+, Educación Sexual Integral, entre otros.
  • Establecer relaciones institucionales con organismos que se dediquen a cuestiones similares.

A lo largo de la historia se ha evidenciado que determinas prácticas han servido para esconder y silenciar los discursos disidentes. En la coyuntura actual no es posible continuar ignorando que ciertas identidades y temas en relación al género fueron sepultadas bajo el peso de otros discursos hegemónicos, patriarcales la mayoría de ellos. Las bibliotecas, como instituciones democratizadoras de la información tienen la obligación de brindar acceso sin restricción, pero no solo eso, si no que la biblioteca debe ser inclusiva en cuanto a servicios y generar un espacio agradable tanto para sus usuarios como para el personal que, por ejemplo, pertenezca a la comunidad LGBTQ+

Hay temas que aún hoy son tabú y no son fáciles de abordar. En algunos casos se atribuye a una cuestión generacional, a veces se piensa que es cultural. La realidad es que la biblioteca debe ir al paso de la sociedad o más rápido que eso. Así como pensamos el currículum educativo, las omisiones y silencios que allí se producen de acuerdo a los discursos hegemónicos, podemos pensar el desarrollo de la colección en la biblioteca. ¿Qué omisiones y qué silencios evidencian cuáles discursos? ¿Podemos pararnos frente a nuestra colección y leer entre líneas lo que se está diciendo y lo que no se está diciendo?

La perspectiva de género se pregunta por las relaciones de los géneros entre sí, el orden jerárquico esperado entre estos y los procesos de ruptura en ese orden. Partiendo de la idea del género como elaboración sociocultural, indaga por la posición social de mujeres y disidencias genericosexuales a lo largo de la historia en función de los discursos de poder. Dicha perspectiva ha comenzado a llegar a las bibliotecas lentamente. Todavía en muchos casos parece ser un tema ajeno a nuestros espacios. Sin embargo, como frente a cada cambio del contexto en el que la biblioteca está inserta, debemos oír las demandas de lxs usuarixs y actuar en consecuencia.

How to use lockdown to discover LGBTQ+ resources

Lockdown is a terrible time. We do not know what to do, we find ourselves at home going around in circles, we are looking for ways to keep busy. It is then up to us to operate a Copernican revolution and to transform this dead time into fruitful time.

So let’s take the opportunity to discover and catch up on all these late titles that have piled up on the edge of the bed, to discover important resources from other countries that we did not have time to check out, to watch webseries, webcomics, to subscribe MOOCs that, it must be admitted, we would not be allowed to follow in normal times.

In the following list, we tried to emphasize resources can be found for free online.

LGBTQ+ collections

At first you can check catalogs and online exhibitions from LGBTQ+ Archives and Libraries from all around the world :

The ArQuives, Canada’s LGBTQ2+ Archives

But then, there are plenty resources to read, watch, listen that you can discover. Please, go to your local library to check if these are in the collections. You can also try your public/university library platform to look after LGBTQ+ materials like Pretnumerique.ca (a French-language digital book platform available in Québec and Canada, where several titles in digital format address LGBTQ+ themes) or …

Free online resources

LGBTQ+ books to read

LGBTQ+ Webcomics

Have you ever tried to read webcomics ? Maybe it’s time to begin (and here is a beginner ‘s guide) [EN]

“Assignée garçon”, a webcomic on transidentity in french by Sophie Labelle

LGBTQ+ movies

There are plenty of LGBTQ+ movies that you should watch or give it a try. Need to find a title, just cast a glance on Wikipedia or Rotten Tomatoes and then, go to your library to check what they have in their digital collections.

LGBTQ+ webseries

LGBTQ+ Podcast

⇒ LGBTQ+ MOOCs and educational resources

Mooc from University of Michigan

If you know any other resources that we forgot or do not know, please add your own in blog comments.

More than 1700 visitors at the 8th Hungarian LGBT History Month

author : Péter Hanzli

Text in hungarian available at http://lmbttortenetihonap.hu/tobb-mint-1700-latogato-8-lmbt-torteneti-honap-rendezvenyein

In February, LGBT History month is a great event in UK and in many other countries in the world. Such as Hungary.

With the coordination of Háttér Society and Labrisz Lesbian Association and with the participation of 33 organizations, groups and individuals, LGBT History month has been organized this year for the 8th time in Hungary. The history of LGBT people was recalled through 50 programs altogether in February – in lectures, discussions, games, workshops, exhibitions, and film screenings. Besides Budapest, programs were organized in Debrecen, Szeged, Kecskemét, and Székesfehérvár too. Almost 1700 visitors took part in the programs throughout the month.

British writer and journalist Neil McKenna at the opening ceremony

The program series was opened by British writer and journalist Neil McKenna – a researcher of Oscar Wilde and the author of a popular biography –, related to the 125th anniversary of Wilde’s trials and imprisonment. The opening speech was followed by the screening of “The Happy Prince”, a 2018 movie directed by and starring Rupert Everett. Neil McKenna also gave a lecture at the Central European University, telling the story of a sensational show trial in England, pursued in 1870 against two well-known British drag queens, Fanny and Stella.

There were several round-tables and lectures on a variety of topics. Among other things, visitors had the opportunity to listen to a lecture on the Irish marriage equality campaign, to watch a documentary on the most influential American filmmakers of the last 50 years, to hear about the spread of AIDS and contemporary activism in the early 1990s France, and to get to know the work of Alfred Kinsey, and Swiss, English, German, and American activists at the 19th and early 20th century, as well as the history of the LGBT media. There were also special subjects related to Hungary: the Hungarian critical edition of Edward Prime-Stevenson’s novel: Imre. A Memorandum, the listing of homosexuals in Hungary in 1942, and the history of the Budapest Prides between 1992 and 2019. Thematic quiz games, workshops, and parties were also part of the program series.

The history of LGBT Media, Ádám András Kanicsár
Swiss, English, German and American activists at the 19th and early 20th century, Péter Hanzli