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More broadly, it is an opportunity to widen the spectrum of resources by highlighting archival and historical documents: this “pride month” commemorates among other things the riots of Stonewall (1969) and the first Marches are therefore held in 1970, just 50 years ago.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 ?

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