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 (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

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

WLIC 2020 : LGBTQ+ Users call for papers

edit from 9 april 2020 : The IFLA Governing Board and Irish National Committee have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 World Library and Information Congress (WLIC). Dublin will instead welcome the 2022 Congress. More detail at :

Theme: “LGBTQ+ collection development and services: best practices around the world”

Translation: [Français]

IFLA’s LGBTQ Users Special Interest Group invite you to submit a proposal for its Joint Session at the 86th IFLA World Library and Information Congress 2020 in Dublin, Ireland, 15-21 August.


Libraries are important places for communities. They offer resources to build yourself as an individual, sometimes to discover your own cultures. They are also about welcoming LGBTQ+ users and helping them find information on topics important to them, such as coming out, health, parenting, as well as finding referents and characters to identify with in books,films and videogames or any other materials, simply for pleasure.

Beyond that, libraries are also aimed at users who are not LGBTQ+.They make it possible to discover and confront what others are experiencing, and they encourage meetings by allowing the expression of individuals who want to better understand each other’s lives

It is the objective of this call for papers to underline the information practices of libraries around the welcoming of LGBTQ+ users. How are collections built today allowing a fair representation of the plural identities that make us? How are these resources presented in library spaces and indicated in the library catalog? Is this information the same level for cis-gay men as for cis-lesbians? What about people who are transgender, gender fluid or gender non-conforming? How effective and welcome is the participation of the public and communities in the development of the collections, programs and/or services?

How can libraries help LGBTQ+ users face the challenges of today’s world, to find their way in the masses of information flooding the internet and to distinguish the real information from the false? How can LGBTQ+ library users protect their personal data and protect themselves from online harassment?

What specific learning opportunities are offered to support librarians and information professionals to raise awareness of cognitive biases, the gender stereotypes they may convey or the need to represent the communities they serve? How can library staff work with community associations and non-institutional libraries to develop these specific skills?

To answer these questions and more, in 2019 the special interest group made of LGBTQ+ Users launched a questionnaire about the purposeful reception of LGBTQ+ individuals or groups of library patrons in the world, reception including the question of spaces, collections, programs or proposed services.

After a presentation of the objectives of this work, the colloquium will be an opportunity to present several good practices implemented in establishments before proposing a time for joint reflection on these questions.

Language of the session

The language of the session is English. However, presenters may choose to give their talk/oral presentation in any of the seven IFLA working languages. Presentation slides must be in English.

Important Dates

3 April 2020 – Deadline for submitting a 500 word abstract and author information.

4 May 2020 – Presenters will be notified whether their proposals are accepted based on how well they have addressed the session theme.

1st June 2020 –Full texts of papers and brief biographies of the presenter(s) are due. Both abstracts and full papers should be submitted as a MS Word file by email. (


Proposals must be submitted by email and must contain:

  • Email subject line “IFLA Dublin Paper Proposal”
  • Title of proposed presentation
  • Presenter(s) name, position and affiliation, email address, and biography (150 words maximum)
  • An abstract in English (500 words)
  • Language of the paper–Language of the presentation

Please submit your proposal to:

Thomas Chaimbault, Convenor of the IFLA LGBTQ Users Special Interest Group

Important information:

The length of presentations should be approximately 15 minutes with 5 minutes for questions.

At least one of the paper’s authors must be present to deliver a summary of the paper during the program in Dublin. Abstracts should only be submitted with the understanding that the expenses of attending the conference will be the responsibility of the author(s)/presenter(s) of accepted papers.

The paper must be an original submission not presented or published elsewhere. All papers that are presented at the WLIC 2020 will be made available online via the IFLA Library under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

Authors of accepted papers must complete the IFLA Authors’ Permission Form.

All expenses, including registration for the conference, travel, accommodation etc., are the responsibility of the authors/presenters. No financial support can be provided by IFLA, but a special invitation letter can be issued to author(s)/presenter(s) of accepted papers.

Congress Participation Grants

List of opportunities for support is available on the Apply for Grants & Awards webpage.

More Calls for Papers:
Open Sessions

The Setting Up of an LGBTQIAP+-themed Collection in a Public Library: the Case of The French-Speaking Public Library of Berchem-Sainte-Agathe (Brussels, Belgium)

Version française disponible ici


In the context of my dissertation on 2018-2019, I set up an LGBTQIAP+-themed collection for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Asexual, Aromantic, Polyamourous, Pansexual young adults (12-26 years old) and their relatives at the Public Library of Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, under the supervision of its directress : Ms Laurence Duhin. This meant that project had to last 9 months (an academical year). Thanks to the unconditional support of Ms Duhin, I obtained a €2000 budget for this project. During its realization, many questions arose about documents selection, indexation, classification, librarians trainings, how to welcome our patrons in an inclusive way. We did our best to answer them all while respecting the legislation ruling libraries in the French-speaking part of Belgium and the rules of the common catalog of the French-Speaking libraries of Brussels. This article a synthesis of the work I presented in June 2019 to get a Bachelor Degree as Librarian.

1. Context

The Public Library of Berchem-Saint-Agathe is a French-speaking library. This means its way of working, the professional tools and so on, are defined by the Royal Arrest of 2009 of the Federation of Wallonie-Brussels over public libraries. This arrest says, among other things, that public libraries are cultural operators whom purpose is to allow individual and collective emancipation of all members of their community. It obliges libraries to be project-oriented through a 5-year plan and to create partnerships with other local initiatives. It fixes the tool used to index documents (UDC/Dewey and RAMEAU1).

This library is also a Brussels library and is part of the Brussels common online catalog. To keep the catalog consistent, there are thus some rules to respect.

We cannot index fiction documents, except in some cases. If fiction is indexed, it mustn’t be to detailed: no subdivision of place or date.

We have to use RAMEAU and UDC/Dewey only for indexing. We cannot add our own subject heading, from another documentary langage or a personal thesaurus, for instance.

The acquisition and loan of e-books is managed by a department specially dedicated to their promotion : Lirtuel. This department has its own catalog that is totally independent of libraries’ catalog and indexing.

Usually public libraries don’t provide multimedia documents (like DVDs, CDs, video games, and so on), this the part of an NGO named Point Culture.

1Which is roughly the French equivalent of the LCSH. It is managed by the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

2. About the Library

The main objectif of the public library of Berchem-Sainte-Agathe is to offer accessible information to all kinds of audiences.

This is why an inclusion axe has been instaured in its 5-year plan mainly dedicated to the inclusion of people with a disability and the setting up of a collection for people with dys- (dyslexia, dyscalculia, and so on).

The team counts 3 librarians, among them the headmistress, a library help, a person organizing activities, a person in charge of the digital public space.

And even if the municipality is part of the « All Genders Welcome » project, there haven’t LGBTQIAP+ for a general audience yet.

3. Origins of the Project

This project is born from an encounter between Ms Duhin and myself, while I was looking for a project for my dissertation.

Ms Duhin went to the IFLA Congress of Lyon and attended a conference about the part of public libraries in helping homeless LGBTQIAP+ teenagers. She then asked herself: « We call ourself public libraries, but are we really open to all audiences? » and considered it fundamental that LGBTQIAP+ teenagers might be able to find stories describing their lives and might be able to find suitable informations for them in a library.

As for me, during my Master degree in History, I ran an NGO about boy’s love and girl’s love comic books to allow fans to find a space wherein they could talk freely about it. That’s how I met a lot of LGBTQIAP+ teenagers, and I have been deeply moved by their loneliness since them. This book club was one of the only spaces some of them had where they could be themselves and ask their questions without fear. So I began to train myself about those subjects via NGOs, the internet and public libraries. Unfortunately, not a lot of information were available there. So I began to think about going back to school to become a librarian and setting up an LGBTQIAP+-themed collection in a public library.

4. The Project

The adolescence being often considered as a tough period and the people under 26 years being 51 % of our 3,298 patrons, we decided, Ms Duhin and myself, that this collection would be destined firstly for 12-26 years and their relatives. As the acquisition depends on a special department in the ministry of culture with its own catalog and indexing system, we thought it would be easier to begin with paper books only.

5. The Methodology

I began by analyzing of the existing situation through the common catalog to know how many LGBTQIAP+-themed books could be found, what was their topic, and so on. Based on those results, I realized an acquisition policy with a €2000 budget. I also analyzed RAMEAU to know which subject headings existed already, which were missing and think about how to remediate the absence of terms. The questions of the classification of the documents, the perpetuation of the collection and how to make the collection known arose quite quickly as well. During this whole process, I could count on the total support of Ms Laurence Duhin and on the help of 3 NGOs for each step of my work: Genres Pluriels ASBL, Merhaba VZW and Tels Quels ASBL.

5.1. Analyzing the Situation

This analyzis was made from the common catalog: I looked for the words Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgenders, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, Aromantic, Polyamorous, Pansexuals, Lesbianism, and their equivalent in RAMEAU: Lesbianism, Lesbians, Masculine Homosexuality, Homosexuals, Homosexuality, Bisexuals, Bisexuality, Transgender, Transidentity, Hermaphrodism (as it is still the subject heading used in RAMEAU for Intersex), Free Love (as Polyamorous relationships doesn’t exist in RAMEAU). Asexuality, Aromantism, Pansexuality do not exist in RAMEAU and they have no equivalent.

I’ve found 228 different references in 62 public libraries. Those are mainly non-fictions – as fiction is very rarely indexed – dedicated mostly to masculine homosexuality.

I’ve also found out some inconsistencies in the indexing. For instance, the book « Le pur et l’impur » by Colette. Only one notice out of 7 has been indexed as « Homosexuality – personal stories », knowing that Colette was bisexual. The other notices had no indexation at all.

There were 14 results at the library of Berchem-Sainte-Agathe.

5.2. The Acquisition Policy

First, I identified the fictions with an LGBTQIAP+ theme already in the library to include them in the collection and to index them, with the authorization of the librarians managing the common catalog.

Afterwards, I’ve built an acquisition policy with the help of Genres Pluriels ASBL, Merhaba VZW and Tels Quels ASBL who guided me about the most relevant topics for the non-fiction documents and who gave me what they published.

The criterias where as followed:

Having mostly fiction – as the collection of the library is made of 70 % of fictions.

Preferring comic books as they are a lead product in the library.

Representing, as much as the published books allow it, the different identities (lesbians, gays, asexuals, transgenders, and so on). Indeed, even though it is difficult for a gay teenager to find suitable information, what can we say for asexual or transgender teenagers?

Of course, the chosen books must be recent.

Then, I’ve selected bibliographies to find the documents. I’ve mostly worked with la Rainbowthèque, offering reviews of Young Adult fictions with an LGBTQIAP+ theme. They also provide keywords, which is very useful for the indexation.

PlanèteDiversité is a website offering reviews of YA books focusing on the stories of minorities (LGBTQIAP+, neurodivergent, and so on), the YouTube channel Cordélia Aime, offering reviews of LGBTQIAP+ YA books and comics, the bibliography of the project of the Federation Wallonie-Brussels « Et toi t’es casé-e ? ».

5.3. The Indexing

Indexing tools used in the common catalog can be RAMEAU and UDC/Dewey. At the library of Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, the UDC is mostly used for the classification on the shelves and only RAMEAU is used for the indexing. That’s why I have analyzed only that tool.

Those are my observations in spring 2019 (as RAMEAU is permanently evolving, things might have changed since then) :

About gayness, there is a huge diversity of subject headings and a regular update. Same can be said for subject headings related to lesbianism, even though those are often subordinated to gayness (for instance « enseignantes lesbiennes » is subordinated to « enseignants homosexuels ».)

The vocabulary was far more reduced about bisexuality and transidentity.

Hermaphrodism is used instead of intersex, while it is seen as a slur by the LGBTQIAP+ community.

Some words are lacking, like asexuality, aromantism, polyamory, pansexuality.

Concerning the documents about pansexuality, we decided to index them with the subject heading « Bisexualité » (as it can be considered as a broader term), the documents related to non-binary have been indexed with the broader term « Transidentité ». The documents about polyamory have been indexed with « Amour libre », which was the closest subject heading I could find.

As no subject headings I’ve found could be related to asexuality and aromantism, we had the authorization to summarize the books in the catalog with those words, so they could be retrieved in the catalog.

This point was essential to us, as the information retrieval in the catalog is based upon the indexing. So, if we want our patrons to have access to the wanted information, it is important to pay attention to the adequacy of the vocabulary we use.

5.4. The Classification On the Shelves

Each library chooses its own classification plan. At the library of Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, a sign upon the back of the books means we have to put together all the books with that sign. For instance, the detective novels have a black sign on their back. Because of this, they are all gathered together on the same shelves.

But it is something we wanted to avoid for the LGBTQIAP+-themed collection. Indeed, it is, we think, a form of stigmatization: why would we put those specific books apart from the others? Furthermore, it could have stopped the people still in the closet – who haven’t made a coming out as an LGBTQIAP+ person – to take books as it could have been perceived as a sort of outing. Indeed, the configuration of the library allows the librarians and the patrons to see who goes in which section and there is no automatic lending machine to allow patrons to take books anonymously.

Yet, the people in the closet are 35 % of our target audience1.

The NGOs I worked with advised against this kind of classification as well.

For all those reasons, we chose to disseminate the books in the whole library, so it would allow a soft mediation as well. For instance, the books about the legislation opening adoption to same-sex couples are classified in family law. Thanks to this, the patron realizes, even if unconsciously, that that kind of family exists. But they are identified with a « All Genders » stamp on the first page to show they belong to the collection.

The stamp

1INSTITUT POUR L’EGALITE DES FEMMES ET DES HOMMES ; UNIA, LE CENTRE INTERFEDERAL POUR L’EGALITE DES CHANCES. Et toi, t’es casé-e ? Répertoire des associations actives dans la lutte contre l’homophobie et la transphobie et/ou communautaires [en ligne]. [circa 2016] [Consulté le 26 mai 2017]. Disponible sur le Web : <;

5.5. The Perpetuation

The most important thing was to train the librarians so they could keep going. First, there was a theoritical training given by Genres Pluriels. Afterward, a 10 hour face-to-face (2 x 5 hours) took place with the librarian in charge fo cataloging the fiction, the comic books and the non-fiction. This moment was the occasion to talk about which subject headings of RAMEAU would be the most suitable.

I’ve also set up a tools box for the librarians with a lexicon, a calendar of the main events of the LGBTQIAP+ events in Belgium to secure new partnerships or to know when to put those books on display, a list of the selected subject headings for the indexing, ideas of activities.

5.6. The Communication about the collection

We took several initiatives to make the collection known by different kind of audiences:

– in reference to the project « All Genders Welcome », the collection was named « All Genders », so it would be clearly recognizable.

– an album was created on the Facebook page of the library specifically to promote the books of the collection

– a book club specifically for transgender folkx was organized with Genres Pluriels during the Pride Festival (a series of events organized around the 17th of May). This was a moment of exchange that allowed us to introduce the collection and to set up a new procedure of subscription to the library. So the people who would like to subscribe to the library with a different surname than the one on their identity card could do it so.

– an inauguration evening for the All Genders collection was organized. For this occasion, I was interviewed by the LGBTQIAP+ magazine Rédac’CHEFF.

– a folder summarizing the comics of the collection was created.

– a specific page introducing the collection has been created in the common catalog, as from now on at least 200 LGBTQIAP+ themed books can found in it in the library of Berchem-Sainte-Agathe alone.

Printscreen of the page introducing the project in the common catalog


This project raised issues to which it is not possible to give a universal answer. For instance, the matter of the classification on the shelves depends on the configuration of the library, the possibilities of anonymous lending, and so on. It was also the occasion to raise awareness among the librarians in charge of the common catalog, to think about how making not only our collections but also our tools, the building, the way we welcome our patrons more inclusive. In this case, it meant thinking about alternatives to index books, reviewing the subscription procedure, thinking about ways to make the collection accessible without risking to out some patrons.

This is the beginning of something beautiful, so we hope and that will make public libraries welcoming places for every one, including our LGBTQIAP+ patrons.

Florence Cochin, published on the 17th of February 2020

How libraries are helping LGBTQ+ users: An infographic

IFLA LGBTQ Users Special Interest Group got to thinking: how are libraries helping LGBTQ+ users? We came up with many answers: from creating a safe space to hosting LGBTQ+ programs and acting as advocates for freedom of access to information. But it’s not enough to just list the ways that libraries help LGBTQ+ users. So we created an infographic! See what libraries are doing to make a difference in the lives of LGBTQ+ communities.

How libraires help LGBTQ+ users

IFLA LGBTQ Users Special Interest Group Conference Session at WLIC2017

Are you going to the World Library & Information Congress (WLIC2017) in Wroclaw, Poland next week? IFLA LGBTQ Users Special Interest Group have been sourcing speakers on libraries and LGBTQ communities for a fabulous round of talks about intersectionality.

Join us for our conference session Intersectionality: Libraries and the Intersection of LGBTQ Lives on Monday 21 August 2017 from 1.45pm-3.45pm in the Main Court at Centennial Hall (Hala Stulecia). We promise you it will be a fun and informative session! And you can tweet about it using #iflalgbtq.

Conference session - promotion

Volunteer in Poland!


IFLA LGBTQ Users Special Interest Group is looking for volunteers to help us with our conference session at the IFLA World Library & Information Congress. The Congress is being held in Wroclaw, Poland from 19-25 August 2017.

Our conference session is scheduled for Monday 21 August 2017. You will need to be available on this day to assist us with setting up the venue, communicating with speakers and seating guests.

If you would like to volunteer please email Anne Reddacliff: Please note you will need to cover the costs of accommodation and travel to and from the Congress.

Reminder: CFP for IFLA LGBTQ Users #WLIC2017 closes 28 Feb





For IFLA WLIC 2017 (19-25 August 2017) we’ve chosen intersectionality as the theme of our conference program. LGBTQ Users Special Interest Group seeks submissions from scholars and practitioners that address the ways in which libraries can provide access to information relating to LGBTQ+ lives as they intersect with the lived experience of other identities.
Presenters are expected to prepare a formal paper as well as a PowerPoint (or other audio/visual) presentation. Papers and presentations may be in any of the official IFLA languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Spanish and Russian) but an accompanying translation into English should be provided.


Deadline for submitting 300 word proposals for papers/presentations, plus a brief 80-100 words biography for each presenter is 28 February 2017.
Please include:
Title of presentation
All authors
Institutional affiliations
Contact information
Please submit a 300 word abstract plus biography as an attachment in MS Word to:
Anne Reddacliff
The deadline for submitting abstracts is 28 February 2017. Presenters will be notified by 28 March 2017. Completed papers are due 1 June 2017.