Tag Archives: LGBTQ

Information Literacy in the Context of LGBT Community: A Survey of National and International Publications

Article Authored By: Selma Leticia Capinzaiki Otttanicar, Jean Fernandes Brito, Rafaela Carolina Silva, Everaldo Henrique dos Santos Barbosa, and Cassia Regina Bassan de Moraes

Reviewed by: Kacie Cox, Rachel Moore, Shannen Moore, Minnie Esquivel Gopar, and Patrick Washington

Link to article: http://www.uel.br/revistas/uel/index.php/informacao/article/view/34561

Article Synopsis

The LGBTQ community still faces discrimination in society due to prejudice, but it is important to research the difficulties that the community faces so that we can improve the community’s quality of life and access to resources. This article focuses on the ways in which literature in the library and information sciences (LIS) field has addressed the LGBTQ community in research. Specifically, the article is determining the information competence (CoInfo) of the research available in terms of creating pathways for lifelong learning for the LGBTQ community and highlighting the importance of diversity. There are two main objectives seen in this article; to understand how CoInfo can lead to respect and developments for the LGBTQ community, as well as looking at how LIS literature has included the LGBTQ community in research.

The researchers conducted a systematic literature review regarding CoInfo issues surrounding the LGBTQ community using international databases to yield diverse, global perspectives. The results showed that research in LIS still shies away from addressing the LGBTQ community on both an international and national level. Additionally, it was found that there may be a barrier to information literacy for those who are older within the LGBTQ community, resulting in a lack of access to information and resources. The researchers determined that CoInfo in LGBTQ literature can assist the community in developing more information literacy through reducing misinformation, learning how to critically interpret information, and gaining a better understanding of the community itself.

Research Questions

1. How can information competence help others respect the LGBTQ Community?
2. What research has already been completed in terms of information competence and the LGBTQ community?
3. What are the barriers information seekers face in terms of the LGBTQ community?
4. How is information disseminated to the public?
5. How can the standards for information competency be applied specifically to the LGTBQ community?
6. What can we learn from the information cycle as it applies to the LGBTQ community?


Three international databases were used for this literature review: Library and Information Science Abstracts (LISA), Web of Science (WOS), and Scopus. The Brazilian database Base de Dados em Ciência de Informação (BRAPCI). There was no date limit set to the search, and all terms were searched in English. The search was limited to works from areas of Social Science and Applied Social Science. The authors then categorized and analyzed the articles they collected, ensuring that the articles contained relevant information. They then took the standards of information competency and applied them to the LGTBQ community, creating a theoretical framework to show how information competency can lead to respect for the LGBTQ Community.

Findings and Conclusions

Ottonicar et al (2019) found that information competence among LGBTQ people is a crucial element that bridges gaps in access to information. Their findings also provided some context regarding the varying information needs of the community. Transgender individuals, for example, have different information needs than do cisgender individuals. Similarly, lesbian and bisexual individual’s information needs differ from those of gay men. The variety and diversity of the individuals among LGBTQ communities offer a challenge to information accessibility because of the diversity of information needs. Ottonicar et al (2019) argued that misinformation, stereotypes, and prejudicial information create a barrier to information access regarding the LGBTQ community. They emphasized the vital importance of the dissemination of accurate information about this community in order to provide relevant context and to guide ethical information behavior by and about the LGBTQ community. The promulgation of accurate information for and about this community is essential in order to educate others and counter misinformation and thus leads to greater awareness and acceptance of the community, and to greater information competency in general.

The authors commended the information competency of LGBTQ individuals but concluded that this competency was linked to barriers to access to information. Individuals who were skilled at seeking and evaluating information about the LGBTQ community often had little recourse other than to utilize those skills. The findings concluded that the LIS community remains slow to address the information needs of this population. Even the survey of literature conducted herein contained only a few titles that directly addressed LGBTQ information-seeking behaviors, access to information, and information competency. In addition, they noted the uneven application of programming and information by and about this community, and the ways in which stigma continues to operate to preclude access to information. Access to more information, and more accurate information, is essential to reducing the stigma associated with the LGBTQ community. The more knowledgeable that people are about this community, the less likely they are to be prejudiced against them, and the more likely they are to respect them and to respect all aspects of diversity within their communities. The authors also suggest an interdisciplinary approach be taken to further research between the social sciences and information sciences.

What American Libraries Can Learn

The intersectional LGBTQ+ community experiences successes and unique adversities globally. Flores (2019), has found that the average level of LGBT global acceptance (i.e., a country’s average societal attitude toward LGBT people that is expressed in public attitudes and beliefs about LGBT people and rights) has increased from 1981-2017 (p.5). Approximately 28 countries have legalized same-sex marriage, there is more LGBTQ visibility in media and society, the Equality Act is a historic piece of LGBTQ legislation to ensure civil rights, bans on conversion therapy have been enacted by 20 states in the U.S., and there are even openly LGBTQ celebrities, public figures, politicians, and world leaders. The authors of this article clearly articulate that changes in legislation to ensure human rights and that include discrimination protections for sexual minorities positively affect public sentiment and acceptance. However, they also critique the notion that LGBTQ specific information and rights have reached a level of global acceptance or information competence that would address the historical disenfranchisement in representation and actuality. In the United States, there are varied examples of criminalization of LGBTQ existence along with historical and systemic erasure. Moreover, while marriage may be one right gained, many LGBTQ folks still face rampant discrimination and violence, poverty, displacement, and even government-sanctioned persecution. All these factors contribute to the challenges the LGBTQ community can face when searching for information about self-actualization, identity formation, demographics, health, community, or belonging. The best way for global libraries and information professionals to serve the information needs of the intersectional LGBTQ+ community is by proactively communicating to government officials, members of the community, legislators, and internal and external stakeholders that the library functions to uphold the intellectual freedoms of all intersectional diverse patrons by upholding functions of social justice and human rights. Therefore, as Ottonicar et al (2019) communicate, LIS professionals must continue to engage in subverting the stereotypes and misconceptions to then promote information competence about the LGBTQ+ community while seeking to address the barriers to access of information.

A library contains the essence of a society translated into text. It functions, in part, as a mirror, reflecting the beliefs, strengths, and accomplishments of society through the literature that lines its shelves. For this reason, it is pivotal that libraries not deny representation to any segment of society. A library is more than a mirror; it is part of an organization committed to providing equal access to information for all patrons without discrimination, prejudice, or bias. (Albright, 2006, p. 55)

Ottonicar et al and Albright justifiably assert the foundational ethics and purpose of libraries and information institutions and organizations as a cultural archive, information hub, democratic equalizer, community center, technological equalizer, etc. This understanding is imperative to serving traditionally underserved and multi-marginalized intersectional communities like the LGBTQ information community. This cognizance, promoted as best professional practice in the article, can be implemented in libraries in the United States and comparable MLIS programs. Moreover, the exigency to look beyond Eurocentric heteropatriarchal imperialistic ethnocentrism and as Schwartz (2013) deftly puts, “Learn Globally, Act Locally.”
Ottonicar et al also highlight the paucity of information regarding LIS and the LGBTQ community indicating a clear need for additional research, this is also true for U.S. libraries. In addition, the authors reported varying responses to queries about library program offerings targeted at the LGBTQ community. It is likely that American libraries, too, differ wildly in terms of their offerings for their specific LGBTQ community. Libraries must offer information about this community and programs that serve the community not just to meet the information needs of LGBTQ individuals, but also to counter misinformation, stereotypes, and negative assumptions. Doing so benefits everyone, as access to this information also strengthens the information competence of those who are not a part of this group. American libraries could also benefit from the expertise of highly competent LGBTQ information seekers, possibly by pairing individuals in a mentor-mentee manner. A similar offering aimed at increasing knowledge about the LGBTQ community would be useful in both meeting the needs of those who are developing information competency and highlighting the skills of those who have. Finally, highly developed information competency requires the ability to assess context and nuanced understanding regarding the legal and ethical ramifications of certain kinds of information. Thus, U.S. based LIS professionals serving the information needs of the LGBTQ community will educate those not a part of it on these higher-level information competencies.


Albright, M. (2006). The public library’s responsibilities to LGBT communities: Recognizing, representing, and serving. Public Libraries, 45(5), 52–56.

Flores, A. (2019). Social acceptance of LGBT people in 174 countries, 1981 to 2017. The Williams Institute, Los Angeles, CA. https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/publications/global-acceptance-index-lgbt/

Ottonicar, S. L. C., Brito, J. F., Silva, R. C., dos Santos Barbosa, E. H., & Bassan de Moraes, C. R. (2019, April). Information literacy in the context of LGBT community: A survey of national and international publications. Informacao & Informacao, 24(1), 484-512. doi:10.5433/1981-8920.2019v24n1p484

Schwartz, M. (2013). Learn Globally, Act Locally: World Library Connections. http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=lls&AN=88016278&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Advancing the conversation: Next steps for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer (LGBTQ) health sciences librarianship

Article Authored By: Hawkins, B. W., Morris, M., Nguyen. T., Siegel, J., & Vardell, E.

Reviewed by: Gender Diverse Group: Amy Johnson, Spencer Winstead, Monica Barber, Amy Hinckley

Link to article: http://jmla.pitt.edu/ojs/jmla/article/view/206/491

(Reviewers’ note: We chose to mirror the LGBTQ acronym used in the article instead of the more currently used and inclusive LGBTQ+. Language is ever evolving and if this article were to be published today, LGBTQ+ or LGBTQIA+ is the language one would expect to see.)
This article is a write up of the panel discussion on improving health science libraries’ service to LGBTQ patrons, presented at the 2016 Medical Library Association and Canadian Health Library Association’s annual meeting. The purpose of the discussion was to create an on-going conversation and bring awareness and visibility to the importance of cultural competence skills and understanding of LGBTQ-specific health information needs for health science libraries through the use of creating professional standards, training, and evidence-based research. The panel discussed cultural competence as it relates to the overall effect on the diverse health needs of LGBTQ patrons, the overall lack of reliable health information reaching LGBTQ youth, and a real need to provide training for health librarians—specifically in learning culturally relevant terminology and creating welcoming spaces for LGBTQ patrons to find information. The panel made suggestions for the health librarian professionals to create a toolkit for reference, implement professional training, and utilize creative thinking to provide outreach to this underserved group.
An international perspective is achieved in respect to providing health information services to LGBTQ patrons due to both the international professional association audience to which it was presented and by the diversity of the panel members who gave the panel presentation, as well as the research the panel members included in their presentation and discussion. The research for the discussion and associated article represented health librarian service to LGBTQ patrons in countries including Canada, the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The panelists themselves were from both Canada and the United States. The Medical Library Association partners with the World Medical Library Association, which has members in six continents. The intention of this panel was to create a universal conversation to all their health librarian colleagues and encourage a standardized progress in professional service to providing universal LGBTQ health information.
The broad theme of the conversation was the future of services to LGBTQ patrons of Health Science Libraries. The two primary questions that framed the conversation were: (1) How can Health Science Librarians best serve LGBTQ patrons and their specific and evolving needs, and (2) How can the profession encourage a research agenda to build an evidence base in this area. Each panelist gave a short presentation that shared their knowledge and experience, covering topics such as information needs of LGBTQ patrons, current issues in LGBTQ health information, as well as suggestions for how health science librarians can improve their services to these patrons.

In order to gain a broad range of answers to these questions, the six panelists were chosen with diversity of experiences and backgrounds in mind. The panelists represented many different aspects of librarianship, including academic research, public and academic libraries, as well as hospital libraries and community-based health service providers. All had specific interest and history serving the LGBTQ community, and many of the panelists shared their own research conducted around this topic. After the panel was concluded, the perspectives offered were summarized, discussed, reflected upon, and the recommendations that emerged from that conversation are presented in this paper.

In general, the authors found that libraries are not meeting the information needs of their LGBTQ patrons, and more specifically with health-based questions. Furthermore, fluency of librarians’ understanding of the effective interactions is also lacking. Nguyen states that the use of the “Diversity Wheel” and “Gingerbread Person” (2017, p. 317-319) are fairly effective tools at bringing up LGBTQ conversations about diversity and inclusiveness within an organization. These two tools also have their drawbacks, in that they still can be reductive, such as the “Gingerbread Person” using binary classifications of feminine and masculine.

Hawkins argues that LGBTQ experiences are not monolithic, and librarians need to demonstrate better competency of such when assisting these patrons. They promote two methods to improve services, first is to implement “safe space training” (p. 320) to teach librarians more sensitive vocabulary and to better promote allyship for those who do not identify as LGBTQ. Second is to build better relationships with community-based organizations.

Vardell found that librarians would benefit from more training in “using appropriate vocabulary” (p. 321). Siegel also found that most librarians are less familiar with terms “genderqueer, cisgender, gender binary, and gender variant” (p. 322). Siegel’s survey of librarians demonstrated that librarians (80%) understood and supported “additional training” to better assist their LGBTQ patrons (p. 322).

In conclusion, the authors state this field is nascent and will require more cultivation to meet the needs of patrons. One major aspect is to implement training into “critical reflective practice” for librarians and services (p. 324). But these tools are not relegated to health librarians as Hawkins states: “the strategies suggested here could be employed by librarians in all sectors” (p. 320).

To provide better health information services for LGBTQ patrons, American libraries can follow the recommendations found within this article. The study conducted by the authors demonstrates that librarians need to develop resources in creation of LGBTQ health outreach. The article presents support for the creation of a toolkit that would mark the development of librarians to “implement and evaluate other possible strategies in their institutions and make the results publicly accessible, through publication as journal articles.” (Hawkins, et al., 2017). Through the implementation, completed by means of interventions, libraries will build and attract LGBTQ patrons and encourage “critically reflective thinking” (p. 327) regarding librarianship in health sciences. The authors suggest that libraries can assist other libraries, as more attempt to create their own outreach programs, through sharing the experiences in publications. This shared experience will assist in the larger creation of a work regarding this topic that allows other libraries to create and maintain their own outreach projects with greater success.

Many LGBTQ patrons seek health information online because of limitations encountered in library settings such as outdated collections and materials, cultural stigma against LGBTQ people, lack of appropriate vocabulary and insensitivity from library staff that lack the appropriate training. To provide improved service, libraries should address these issues through the implementation of a “toolkit” for the creation of an outreach program that allows the focus to shift so that the result is an authentic experience, the development of a diverse and accurate collection and the well trained culturally sensitive and knowledgeable staff.

The social constructionist viewpoint on gays and lesbians, and their information behaviour

Reviewed By: Maria Burton-Conte, Sierra Byrd, Stephanie Frey, Marian Griffin, Melyssa Kimbell, Guadalupe Martinez

Link to article: http://informationr.net/ir/13-4/paper364.html

Blogging Open Access Research

Article Synopsis and International Perspective
Nei-Ching Yeh’s study aimed to explore the information-seeking behavior of gay and lesbian Taiwanese citizens from self-realization to acceptance and beyond. Her study also sheds light on the idea of homosexuality in Asian culture and how that affects its gay and lesbian population. Yeh (2008) found that the Internet was an invaluable source for the lesbians and gay men she studied. In Taiwanese society, homosexuality is still considered “abnormal” and many believe homosexuals do not have as promising a future as their heterosexual counterparts. These beliefs stem from “Taiwanese traditional filial culture which emphasizes the importance of getting married and having children and sees this as corresponding to social norms” (Yeh, 2008, para. 31). Therefore, respondents in the study felt the need to protect themselves when searching for information regarding homosexuality, and the Internet provided a safe haven to do so and remain inconspicuous at the same time. They were also able to seek information that facilitated “self-understanding and representation…used to clarify and affirm their homosexual identity” (Yeh, 2008, para. 47). Sadly, Yeh’s respondents felt that they could not conduct these searches in an actual library. Besides the inability to remain anonymous, respondents also felt that the collections in their libraries relating to homosexuality were limited and outdated. One respondent even felt as though “the homophobic condition [was] still prevalent in Taiwanese libraries” (Yeh, 2008, para. 50).
The results of Yeh’s (2008) study highlighted several key factors that influenced how her respondents set out on their information-seeking journey. The first was “self-awareness” – many young homosexuals consider themselves abnormal until they research what they feel and discover that their feelings are indeed quite normal. This information helps them initially accept their sexual orientation and set them on their next information seeking path, which is to find people they can form a connection with. Other reasons for respondent’s information-seeking behavior included a broadening of their information horizons on homosexuality, to be better informed themselves, and to help educate others.

Core Research Questions
Question 1.
How do those who identify as lesbian and gay develop their knowledge of their orientation?
Question 2.
How do those who identify as lesbian and gay construct meaning of their identity through interactions with others within their community?
Question 3.
What are the information behaviors of lesbians and gay people when they are developing their knowledge of their orientation and community?
Question 4.
What are the information needs of lesbian and gay people when they are developing their knowledge of their orientation and community?

The methodology of this research took a social constructionist viewpoint. Researchers collected data through interviewing participants that had volunteered to be part of the study. These interviews were conducted one-on-one and face-to-face with each interviewee and researcher. The fourteen participants each chose the environment for the interview, which seemed to average between an hour and a half to two hours, covering seven individual questions. Their answers were comparatively analyzed to gain the data used in this research study. In comparing and analyzing this data using the constant comparison approach, the researchers were able to focus on clues that identified information behavior. These clues identified patterns among the participants that indicated how they each went about constructing their world as a member of the lesbian and gay community. The researchers noticed a few patterns that stood out among the responses given and identified three main sections of this discovery and creation process. The analysis of the interview responses illuminated how these participants were able to process social construction and highlighted the role that informational behavior played in that construction as well.

Findings and Conclusions
Yeh (2008) found that a majority in the community were taught that homosexuality was abnormal, and the bias society has against them. The Internet is where most go to learn more about their sexuality and sex but reframe from the library as they see the collections for gay people as outdated and limited. Yeh (2008) has found that accumulation and monitoring are useful for investigating and obtaining information and complement the concept of information seeking. This study also concludes that having a community, whether on the Internet or in-person, as important and can let those who are heterosexual understand this community at a deeper level.

What American Libraries Can Learn
As much as we want to understand how our patron communities configure their identities for themselves and within society, so must librarians define how they perceive identity in others. Furthermore, librarians should consider how those perceptions are related to the quality and impact of their services, considering the ubiquitous nature of the Internet. The Internet allows for libraries to have layers of interactions that allow the individual to control how to present themselves online, i.e., anonymously, with known aliases, etc. The anonymity of the Internet also allows LGBTQ+ people to create virtual spaces to facilitate knowledge production, form meaningful connections with other community members, and freely seek and share information via the network. In particular, the LGBTQ+ community uses the anonymity of the Internet to seek sexual health information; it is important for libraries to offer accurate, inclusive health resources that can be accessed anonymously.
Additionally, many LGBTQ+ patrons seek information online due to the limitations of many traditional library spaces: outdated collection policies, cultural stigma against gay and lesbian people in public spaces, and indiscretion from library staff who may be homophobic or lack the sensitivity training for discretion. Libraries should address these valid concerns by focusing on authentic, diverse collection development and hiring and training culturally competent staff. Although this article comes from the perspective of Taiwanese society, American libraries may still harbor the same ideological blind spots, policy oversight, or have limited control over the stigma that continues for LGBTQ+ patrons in and out of the library. Virtual spaces are ways for the LGBTQ+ community to channel the power to self-educate, build a chosen community, and self-identify to the patrons without the librarians as the middlemen.

Yeh, N. (2008). The social constructionist viewpoint on gays and lesbians, and their information behaviour. Information Research, 13(4). http://informationr.net/ir/13-4/paper364.html

Public library and private space: Homeless queer youth navigating information access and identity in Toronto

Reviewed By: Linda Daguerre, Jeanene DeFine, Jenell Heimbach, Gloria Montez, Kyrie Rhodes, Julia Riley

Link to article: http://library.ifla.org/2144/1/114-walsh-en.pdf

Article Synopsis

While one often hears of the term “passing” in relation to transgender people who appear to be cis-gender, it can be used in different contexts. Passing is when a person can fit into a group different from their own or how they identify: gender, sexual orientation, race, class, disability, or, as is often the case with LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) homeless youth, that they are passing as having secure housing. The reason one might want to fit into another group is for physical protection. For example, in 2019 twenty-six transgender people were murdered in the United States (Human Rights Campaign, 2020). Another reason one might want to pass is emotional protection from having to justify your identity or deal with people who don’t accept you. This is a particularly important motivation for teenagers, who want to fit in. The paper “Public Library and Private Space: Homeless Queer Youth Navigating Information Access and Identity in Toronto (Walsh, 2018) is an ethnographic study of homeless LGBTQ youth in Toronto, Canada. It explores their need to pass and how public libraries may inhibit their information seeking, due to its public nature. Lastly, this paper suggests what libraries can do to meet homeless LGBTQ youth’s needs for safety, privacy and inclusion.

How this Article Represents an International Perspective

This article was originally published in 2018, in conjunction with the 84th World Library & Information Congress (WLIC), a conference hosted by the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (International Federation of Library Associations, 2018). The International Federation of Library Associations, or IFLA, publishes global articles on the subject of information science, which connects international information professionals to one another, and to global library news and research. Though full-text articles are published in English, IFLA translates abstracts into Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Russian and Spanish (IFLA, n.d.). This article is written by a faculty member at the University of Toronto, in Canada, and focuses on the Toronto LGBTQ homeless community in public and academic libraries, as well as businesses. The article references North American concepts of libraries, and common expectations of public libraries in the US and Canada, including that libraries are valued for providing access to media and being quiet places to study (Walsh, 2018). Additionally, the article mentions the international stigma surrounding use of the public library by individuals experiencing homelessness, citing San Francisco as an example in addition to Toronto (Walsh, 2018).

Core Research Questions

Who makes up the LGBTQ homeless youth?

How are public libraries inhibiting the information-seeking needs for LGBTQ homeless youth?

What are the needs of LGBTQ homeless youth?

What are the informational needs of LGBTQ homeless youth?

What is the theory of information practice?

What is the definition of a public library?

Why aren’t public libraries considered “safe” spaces for LGBTQ homeless youth?

Why do LGBTQ homeless youth feel the need to hide or “pass”?

What is “passing”?

Why are LGBTQ homeless youth not finding private space in public libraries?

Where are LGBTQ homeless youth going for information?

Why are LGBTQ homeless youth seeking information and privacy from academic libraries?

Why was the Apple Store a popular place for LGBT homeless youth to go?

What behaviors are LGBTQ homeless youth practicing that might make them unwelcome in public libraries?

Why do LGBTQ homeless youth prefer non-public library spaces?

How do cisgendered, heterosexual patrons view LGBTQ homeless youth?

What is the goal of the public library?

How can public libraries support LGBTQ homeless youth?

Methods Used to Answer the Research Questions

To understand the relationship between libraries and homeless LGBTQ youth, a study was launched that spanned 2013-2014 that blended observations, research, and interviews. The study was considered exploratory due to the overall lack of knowledge of the subject group. Homeless LGBTQ youth do not outwardly express any clear distinguishable features that would separate them from a homeless teen, a member of the LGBTQ community, or a mainstream youth living with their parents. This is often because they do not want to be recognized or categorized into the demographic so to avoid discrimination, negative stereotypes, or abuse. Due to these factors the study began as broad as possible and slowly shrunk the more the researchers learned. The clearest and most accurate observations came from an organized weekly drop-in program hosted at the library. Those involved consisted of eleven queer and/or trans young adults who were either homeless at the time or had been in the past. They had partaken in one-on-one semi structured interviews which were then analyzed, along with field notes, and photographs in a technique that was established by Emerson, Fretz and Shaw, experts in writing ethnographic field notes.

Findings and Conclusions

The findings gained from the observations and conversations with the LGBTQ homeless youth user shed light on the need for inclusive spaces in the public library. Benjamin Walsh discovered the LGBTQ youth user periodically uses the public library but prefers spaces that allow them to be seen as they choose to be seen, not as a problem or “homeless” (2018). The public library offers public spaces for all and in this way the public library carries the stigma of a place homeless people go. Walsh found this stigma of homelessness to be a contributing factor as to why the LGBTQ homeless youth preferred the Apple Store and academic libraries (2018). These spaces allow them to be more authentic in their identity. Youth can move freely and privately in these spaces. The public library presents a barrier in which they find themselves faced with their homelessnes and exposure to their identity (Walsh, 2018).

Walsh concludes; librarians can re-establish those important connections by going to youth shelters, hiring LGBTQ staff to do outreach and programming, build empathy for the LGBTQ experience through professional development, create private spaces, and take the time to get to know them. The library is a place where strong connections can be made. The commitment is already in the mission so it’s time to adapt those commitments to all users (Walsh,2018).

What American Libraries Can Learn from Global Practice

In an effort for American libraries to assist and recognize the LGBTQ youth communities, it is crucial to start at the beginning; this point that has been ascertained by the information in this article based on the Toronto library system. Globally, the examination of this demographic of library patrons has indicated their preference of areas where they feel safe from scrutiny, victimization and judgement (Walls & Bell, 2011). A location such as the Apple Store has proven to be a preference over public libraries due to the fact that adequate time can be spent at these locations searching for information without having to share their identities but also not having to conceal them (Walsh, 2014). Libraries might benefit from examining unique infrastructures such as this.

Public libraries in the United States, such as San Francisco who purchase defensive architecture to keep the homeless population away should examine and reassess their approach (Gee, 2017). To reestablish a welcoming and “user friendly” space, judgement and prejudice can only add to information poverty which is not synonymous for libraries. As noted in this study, a step towards embracing our homeless LGBTQ youth and fulfilling their information needs would be to focus on the library staff. Enacting outreach programs and training by employing young LGBTQ staff who have personal experience and knowledge in this distinct community, can be the bridge needed to close these gaps, returning these young members to a safe and comfortable place free from the outdoor elements where information is readily available, programs and education is attainable, and their presence is truly welcomed.


Gee, A. (2017). Homeless people have found safety in a library – but locals want them gone. The Guardian (International Edition). Retrieved from: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/24/libraries-homelessness-deterlandscape-designs-san-francisco

Human Rights Campaign. (2020). Violence against the transgender community in 2019. Retrieved from https://www.hrc.org/resources/violence-against-the-transgender-community-in-2019

International Federation of Library Associations. (2018). World Library & Information Congress. Retrieved from https://2018.ifla.org/

International Federation of Library Associations. (n.d.). Journal Description. Retrieved from https://journals.sagepub.com/description/IFL

Walls, N. E., & Bell, S. (2011). Correlates of engaging in survival sex among homeless youth and young adults. Journal of sex research, 48(5), 423-436.

Walsh, B. (2014). Information out in the cold: Exploring the information practices of homeless queer, trans and two-spirit youth in Toronto. (Unpublished master’s thesis). University of Toronto. Retrieved from: https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/handle/1807/68014

Walsh, B. (2018, June 27). Public library and private space: Homeless queer youth navigating information access and identity in Toronto. Retrieved from

What makes an object queer? Collecting and exhibiting LGBT stories in regional museums and archives

Reviewed By: Jarrod Chilton, Eleanor Hill, Naomi Hill, Juliet Howard, Lain Krikourian, and Britton Roseberry

Link to article: https://www.webcitation.org/6vOFeSJkI

Reviewed By: Jarrod Chilton, Eleanor Hill, Naomi Hill, Juliet Howard, Lain Krikourian and Britton Roseberry

Link to article: https://www.webcitation.org/6vOFeSJkI

Article Synopsis

Dr. Jessie Lymn and Samantha Leah’s (2016) “What Makes an Object Queer? Collecting and Exhibiting LGBT Stories in Regional Museums and Archives,” presents the early findings of a case study approach (featuring the Museum of the Riverina’s We Are Here: Riverina LGBT Stories exhibition) to help collection managers, curators, and donors build a better understanding of how to capture queer objects within a wider context by considering the social histories associated with LGBT experiences of people from the Riverina regions in New South Wales, Australia. Lynn and Leah’s (2016) introduction begins by noting that the most common challenges associated with LGBT materials relate to classification and curation—most of which stem from the article’s recurring question: what makes an object queer?
The research supports the argument for a curatorial process which includes input from relevant (i.e. Riverina LGBT) community members, and, most importantly, creates a space for more than just physical objects to be stored (Lymn & Leah, 2016). The adoption of the suggested curatorial process brings depth to the collection and helps enable others to recognize and have empathy for the lived experiences of the diverse LGBT community (Lymn & Leah, 2016). The process which the article continually asserts is built on the notion that: “[l]ibraries, archives and museums are responsible for collecting, preserving and making accessible the important stories of all members of the community, including those whose stories may have been hidden or invisible in the past, such as the LGBT community” (Lymn & Leah, 2016).
In order to authentically represent the diverse experiences of the LGBT community in regional collections, community consultations—both group and individual meetings—were facilitated by the museum’s curator to gather accurate information directly from community members who identify as LGBT (Lymn & Leah, 2016). The article also notes how a pop-up exhibition was held at a local pub where the museum’s curator extended an invitation to community members and encouraged them to bring LGBT-centered stories and artifacts to share with others (Lymn & Leah, 2016). To further combat the dominant narrative which highlights the progress of the majority by excluding the social histories of those who don’t fit within the norm or the dominant narrative’s definition of progress, the Museum of the Riverina must thoughtfully collect and curate the queer objects to begin to interrupt linear notions of time and history (Lynn & Leah, 2016).
The We Are Here: Riverina LGBT Stories exhibition creates a unique space to help facilitate alternative ways of thinking about the regional history, and above all, challenges its audiences to, “…think about the object as more than the physical object, but instead as part of a broader object of queer practice, and in this case, regional queer practice” (Lymn & Leah, 2016). Lymn and Leah’s (2016) conclusion emphasizes that the recognition of queer objects doesn’t change the object’s roll within the collection, but rather enhances its classification and invites more depth into the collection’s content.

How this Article Represents an International Perspective

The article, based on research done in Wagga Wagga, a small Australian town, contributes to an international discussion about geography’s impact on the stories of marginalized communities. It examines “regional optimism” and how a region’s history is often presented in progressive terms, and difficult parts of its narrative are relegated to a national level (Lymn & Leah, 2016). In examining how Wagga Wagga’s history is told, the authors found that the “massive social upheaval of the 1960s and 1970s seems to pass the town by,” (Lymn & Leah, 2016) effectively erasing the history of those on society’s fringes. This research has international value, as regional exhibits anywhere might be curated with greater awareness of queer communities and ownership of controversial historical events.

Core Research Question

As the title of the paper suggests, the core research question this article explores is, what makes an object queer? Lymn and Leah do well to explore this quandary and in that process get to a question even more focused on the context of an information organization, “how is that queerness represented within the collection and in the record of the object’s provenance?” (2016, p. 1) One of the objects donated to the exhibition was a whistle used by a community member during a notable queer march. The authors want to know how to link this context to the object in a way that makes it useful and self-explanatory for the future.


Using what was coined a scavenger methodology by Halberstam, the authors employed methods that “refuse[d] disciplinary coherence,” pairing dominant institutional practices with “fringe stories and encounters” to answer their research question (Lymn & Leah, 2016). Direct consultation with the local LGBTQIA+ community was made through multiple events, which also garnered items for inclusion in the exhibit, and allowed for those members to self-determine what made an item queer and worthy of inclusion: namely, that it was the use of the object in regional queer practice and not the item itself that made it queer.

Findings and Conclusions

The objects curated for the exhibition influenced the museum’s curation process. Their collection management system expanded its categorization of LGBT materials. The exhibition’s researchers found objects are categorized as queer when “oral histories and donor interviews…contributed to a wider sense of boundary object” (Lymn & Lean, 2016, p. 8), creating a better understanding of their significance in queer culture. However, the exhibition failed to provide the “lived experience of homophobia” (Lymn & Leah, 2016, p. 8) for cisheteronormative museum staff, who continued to believe their region was not bigoted despite LGBT stories saying otherwise. There’s a need to preserve the social histories of marginalized communities, and researchers continue to work with information services staff and donors to collect, curate, and develop an understanding of queer objects.

What American Libraries can Learn from Global Practice

Through Lymn and Leah’s article American libraries can begin to build on the foundational writings that seek to define what makes an object queer and how queer objects are represented. Of special importance that can be applied to many areas of LIS research in America is how the LGBT community is treated on a national level while remaining nonexistent in more regional historical narratives. While focusing on the specific narratives of the LGBT community, several diverse populations exist in America that can benefit from both a nonlinear methodological approach as well as the leveraging of community consultations that respect their information exchange preferences and community remembering, (Gorichanaz & Turner, 2018).


Gorichanaz, T. & Turner, D. (2018). Collaborative connections: Designing library services for the urban poor. Library Quarterly: Information, Community, Policy 88(3). pp. 237-255. Chicago. Retrieved from:

Lymn, J. & Leah, S. (2016). What makes an object queer? Collecting and exhibiting LGBT stories in regional museums and archives In Proceedings of RAILS – Research Applications, Information and Library Studies, 2016, School of Information Management, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, 6-8 December, 2016.. Information Research, 22(4), paper rails1618. Retrieved from http://InformationR.net/ir/22-4/rails/rails1618.html

Places for all? Cape Town’s public library services to gays and lesbians

Reviewed By: Brianna Anderson, Jennifer Mays, Julie Smith, Michael Vinyard

Link to article: https://doaj.org/article/4d9eab3dcad54d41849d504a8aafb9df

Synopsis and Research Questions

Hart and Mfazo (2010) found that most of the research and literature on public library service for the LGBT community was done in North America. Because South Africa has a history of struggling to overcome discrimination, the authors saw the need for research on the topic specific to this geographic area. They also found that the LGBT community tended to be overlooked as a minority group with specific needs. Their goals were to determine librarians’ awareness of information needs and how well libraries met those needs.

The research project had three distinct questions. The first was whether or not gay and lesbian library users should be considered a special user group with particular information and reading needs. Second, they wanted to know if public library staff were aware of the human rights issues surrounding services to the LGBT community. Lastly, they wanted to know if the public libraries in South Africa were providing for the special needs of the LGBT community through their collections and information services.


To help answer the first research question, the authors performed a literature review. Answering the remaining two questions involved looking at the collection development policy for the library system and conducting a survey composed of four sections administered to the main librarian responsible for branch collection development at each branch.

The first three survey segments included personal information about the respondent, professional details regarding awareness of the collection development policy and criteria used to make selections, and questions regarding information services. In the fourth segment, the Likert scale was used to help the authors examine the personal views of librarians regarding the provision of resources and services to the LGBT community and how these views may impact library service.

Findings and Conclusions

While the authors concluded from their literature review that the “professional, philosophical and research literature” (Hart & Mfazo, 2010, p. 106) considers gays and lesbians a special user group, the survey of 69 Cape Town librarians revealed that only 55% “consciously consider” (p.103) this group when developing their collections.  Even though 79% agree that access for the gay and lesbian community is a human rights issue and 91.5% are aware of policies that mandate a diverse collection, only 29% of librarians who responded agree that an explicit statement should be made in the policy for this user group.  Thus, the authors concluded that overall, the librarians do not consider gays and lesbians a special user group.

The authors describe the findings on how Cape Town libraries meet the needs of gays and lesbians as “spotty” and suggest “librarians’ prejudices might affect services to LGBT people” (Hart & Mfazo, 2010, p. 107). Opinion regarding the provision of services was dependent on size and location of the library.  Only 15% of librarians agreed that the needs of gays and lesbians are met at the city and regional libraries, but 33% of community librarians believed they were meeting needs.  Services were provided in some locations but not the majority, and in many categories, the number of libraries that practice inclusion of gays and lesbians in their regular services is woefully inadequate.  Only 6 of the 69 responding librarians stated that they have community information and pamphlet files for gays and lesbians while 55% of those that have display boards dedicate space to gay and lesbian information.  Librarians in charge of collection development even admit to rejecting LGBT literature based on the perception that it is pornographic. The actual purchase of LGBT books averaged less than one per year and only three librarians reported subscribing to an LGBT magazine or newsletter.  Half of the librarians did not buy any materials for LGBT patrons and 23 of the librarians either could not or would not answer the question, which is contrary to how the librarians said they consider gays and lesbians in collection development.  Their acknowledgement of collection policy did not translate to purchasing decisions. Finally, only 20 librarians reported being approached with LGBT related questions within the last year but due to inadequate study design, the authors could not conclude whether the librarians were able to adequately help those patrons.  The low number of queries may be due to librarians’ lack of awareness of gay and lesbian information needs and the perception by gays and lesbians that librarians are not aware of their needs.

Questions and Future Research

There are a number of areas where future research will be necessary to have a more complete picture of the needs of LGBT patrons in Cape Town and whether those needs are being met. Hart and Mfazo (2010) state that, as a public service and embodying the South African Constitution, libraries should provide “service impartially, fairly, equitably, and without bias” (p. 99). Yet, as the study shows, these are not being provided. The survey showed that the librarians in the Cape Town Library System are self-censoring LGBT items from the library by not buying them, seeking them out, or displaying information regarding the LGBT community. This leads to one of the biggest questions: How can Cape Town, and similar libraries, use this information to change their systems to create an equitable LGBT collection that integrates and displays that collection alongside the existing one?

One of the biggest omissions in the research is on the LGBT community itself. The research conducted is merely on the library system serving this community with very little information about the LGBT community. It would be helpful to know what the LGBT community thinks about the Cape Town Library System’s collection and if they think it is pertinent or helpful to them. How do they view the library and librarians? Do they feel their information needs are being met?

This leads to another area that may need future research: what kinds of information does this community seek and are they finding what they need? An answer to this would help close the gap in the library services. The information that Hart and Mfazo (2010) present is a bit vague in regards to which kinds of materials and literature are in demand. Are these fiction, non-fiction, periodicals? It would be interesting to research what information and materials are physically on the shelf, instead of relying on the answers in a survey. In addition, for the libraries that do include LGBT materials, it would be beneficial to know where they are finding these materials and if these vendors could be put on the list of provincial selectors. Currently, many of the libraries in Cape Town are buying less than one LGBT book a year but the study couldn’t conclusively pinpoint as to why this is the case except to say that it was the librarians’ choice. Are there other factors involved besides possible self-censoring by librarians? One librarian commented that “the Provincial library provides material but no-one has ever suggested buying specifically for the gay community from COCT [City of Cape Town]” (Hart and Mfazo, 2010, p. 105). Perhaps this is a system-wide issue and not just a problem in branch libraries. Finally, this study focused on gays and lesbians, but the LGBTQ+ community is a broad of spectrum of people and further investigation on the variety of needs is warranted.


Unfortunately, Hart and Mfazo’s research showed that there is a definite gap in public library services to the LGBT communities of Cape Town. The library system has a lot of work to do to provide equitable services to their LGBT community. A review of library collection development policies may warrant the addition of purchasing and service considerations for this specific community. Librarians and staff would benefit from professional development and diversity training. This training would enable librarians and staff to better understand the need for information services for all people, as mandated by the South African Constitution.

Hart, G. and Mfazo, N. (2010). Places for all? Cape Town’s public library services to gays and lesbians. South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science, 76(2), 98-108. DOI: 10.7553/76-2-73

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ)- Themed Literature for Teens: Are School Libraries Providing Adequate Collections?

Reviewed By: Corin Balkovek, Helen Cate, Juliann Hilton, Garrett Purchio

Link to article: http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1012828.pdf

For this assignment, we chose to examine the article, “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ)-Themed Literature for Teens: Are School Libraries Providing Adequate Collections?”, published in 2013 in the School Library Research Journal of the American Association of School Libraries. The study outlined in this article focuses on the prevalence of LGBTQ works (both fiction and nonfiction) in today’s public high schools. With the rise of LGBTQ rights and issues within current society, the issue of representation within public schools is an important and at times polarizing topic.

This study sought to determine if LGBTQ high school youth have access to LGBTQ materials in their school libraries. The study analyzed the collection of 125 high school school libraries in an undisclosed state of the United States to see if LGBTQ resources were available to students. The authors provided background information on LGBTQ resources and cited previous studies on LGBTQ youth in which the results showed that having access to relevant, useful resources helped this group of people. The data gathered from the searches was presented in four charts, as were two lists of prominent LGBTQ-themed literature. The authors concluded that these schools were lacking sufficient LGBTQ-themed literature in their collectives, which could prove harmful to LGBTQ youth. The authors acknowledged that even though librarians may face opposition and other assorted challenges related to serving LGBTQ youth, they must attempt to provide these resources to this group given how valuable these resources can be.

The study was conducted by using the online catalogs of the selected libraries to look for LGBTQ materials using four different search terms: “homosexuality”, “gay men,” “lesbians”, and “transsexualism”. Each item that turned up in each of the searches was tallied. Additionally, searches were conducted for highly recommended materials from a prominent LGBTQ literature collection.

Findings of the study showed that, overwhelmingly, public schools within the state that was studied were under-serving the teenage LGBTQ population. In regards to LGBTQ-themed works- including fiction, non-fiction and biographies – half of the schools studied held fewer than 31 titles. The number of titles held by these schools ranged from 1 to 157. The average number of LGBTQ-themed titles held was 35.7, and on average made up 0.4% of their collections. The authors also studied the inclusion of a highly-recommended core collection of LGBTQ-themed literature, as laid out in Webber’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Teen Literature: A Guide to Reading Interests. Of titles from Webber’s collection, 65.3% of schools held fewer than five of the fiction titles, the most commonly held title being The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and 19.3% of the schools held none of the titles at all. Schools held even fewer of the recommended nonfiction young adult works, which focus on LGBTQ history and various issues like coming-out and safe sex practices.

There are a few questions that remain unanswered through the course of this study, many of which could be resolved by increasing the scope and depth of the study. This study was constructed from research done on a handful of schools from one state in the southern part of the U.S.; while the results are a good look at the LGBTQ curriculum found in high school of this particular state, to extrapolate this information as being representative of the entire country would weaken its case. However, if a large sample size was taken from throughout the country, the results of this larger study would be a stronger representation of what the national outlook of LGBTQ literature in high school libraries.
In addition to expanding the scope of the study in terms of sample size, looking into other extenuating factors that could lead to the development (or lack thereof) of LGBTQ literature in high schools could work to answer questions and concerns regarding the methodology of the study. For example, the authors of the study list out the number of LGBTQ books each library held, but did not mention what percentage of the total library’s collection those books entailed. By focusing on the actual percentage of LGBTQ books within a collection rather than the number, the researchers would create a metric that would be universal despite the size of the library being studied. While only having 31 books focusing on LGBTQ themes and issues is low, is it 31 books out of a collection of 1,000 (which would be 3.1% of the total collection), or out of 10,000 (which would be .31% of the total collection)?
The authors of the study touched on another underlying issue that possibly affected their results: the variance in cataloging practices between the schools that were studied. The researchers searched the OPAC of high school libraries using the Sears subject headings “homosexuality”, “gay men,” “lesbians”, and “transsexualism”. As they discovered during their work, there were many times where a book in one school would be cataloged using one of these search terms, but in another school would not. These differences in cataloging practices create a certain margin of error on the results of the study: just because a book didn’t come up while using these search terms in the OPAC, doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t in the collection. Additionally, some youth may not feel comfortable coming to ask a librarian for a list of LGBTQ works; how might they find the collection of works when the cataloguing system might not include everything, or include works that should necessarily be labeled as such? Perhaps if the recommended books on the lists came with suggested cataloguing headings, there would be more consistency and that would make searching for LGBTQ works somewhat easier. By working to find other ways to determine the LGBTQ collections that circumnavigate these cataloging differences and issues – for example, requesting a list of LGBTQ works directly from library staff who may know of works that aren’t tagged using the subject headings above – researchers may be able to get a clearer picture of high school library collections.

Another remaining question concerns the biases of librarians, teachers, and administrators. Are those that purchasing the books for collections allowing their own beliefs, thoughts, and feelings on the matter effect which LGBTQ books they buy and how many? If so, how might this be overcome or minimized? The possibility that lack of variety and low level of purchases of LGBTQ works comes from personal biases can’t be completely dismissed. At times, there is pressure (real or imagined) from an outside source that affects choices in library collection development.
All in all, the study works to highlight a serious issue facing diversity in modern high school libraries. By first discovering the weak spots in library collection development in terms of LGBTQ literature, steps can be made to improve the situation and work to ensure that the libraries held in today’s high school are inclusive for all students.

Sources Cited:
Hughes-Hassell, S., Overberg, E., & Harris, S. (2013). Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ)-Themed Literature for Teens: Are School Libraries Providing Adequate Collections?. School Library Research, 16.

Young Adult Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Non-Fiction Collections and Countywide Anti-Discrimination Policies

By Lyn Betts, Melissa Feinberg, Lucy Johnson-Sims, Angela Larkin Crosher, Julia Wells

Link to article: http://ojs.gc.cuny.edu/index.php/urbanlibrary/article/view/1247

Post by: Lyn Betts, Melissa Feinberg, Lucy Johnson-Sims, Angela Larkin Crosher, Julia Wells

The Background
Although the American Library Association Bill of Rights states that “library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves” (ALA, 1996), LGBTQ populations continue to be underserved by public library collections, particularly in the Southeastern United States. When “30% of teens [cannot] find LGBTQ-related materials they want…and only 20% [feel] safe from harassment in their local public libraries”(Martin & Murdock, 2007), you know something needs to change.

Glossary of Terms
Collection: Only non-fiction appropriate for the young adult reader is included in the term “collection.”

Gender: Distinct from biological sex; gender is a person’s social and cultural expression of masculinity, femininity, or some combination thereof. A person’s gender identity/expression may or may not match his/her biological sex.

LGBTQ: An acronym for lesbians (females who are attracted to other females emotionally and erotically), gay males (males who are attracted to other males emotionally and erotically), bisexuals (who may be attracted to both males and females), trans young adults (whose biological sex is different from their physical, emotional, and psychological expression of sex) or questioning young adults (who are seeking more information about gender, gender identity, and sexuality).

Young Adult: A person between the ages of 12 and 18.(p. 4)

The Study
Stringer-Stanback set out to test two hypotheses:
1. Counties that have LGBTQ anti-discrimination ordinances will be more likely to have YA LGBTQ non-fiction materials in their public libraries.
2. Counties that do not have LGTBQ anti-discrimination ordinances will be less likely to have YA LGBTQ non-fiction materials in their public libraries.

Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia were chosen because it is not illegal to discriminate against someone based on their sexual orientation or (with the exception of some counties in Florida) their gender identity.

The focus was on the four most populous counties in each of the five states, and if they had anti-discrimination ordinances. To find this information, the author looked to newspaper articles, county websites and national organizations.

With a list of twenty-three non-fiction books (culled from Lambda Literary Foundation Awards, ALA Stonewall Awards, and an ALA LGBTQ Roundtable bibliography), the author searched public library catalogs in each of the counties, to find out how many of these titles were held by each library.

Why include only non-fiction books? Although Stringer-Stanback acknowledges that fiction titles are also important, the young adult LGBTQ community is also looking for “real stories by real people” (Martin & Murdock, 2007).

There was no relationship between anti-discrimination ordinances and the volume of LGBTQ material.
More demographically diverse counties had more LGBTQ titles.

Thoughts and Questions

Demographics and Budgets
1. Budgets of the libraries were not taken into account. Even though the counties were chosen by total population, budgets of each library system may vary widely between the counties.
2. Libraries with no or few members of a community may, by necessity (financial for example), have smaller collections of items that are for that community. Knowing the demographics of the community (how many members identify as LGBTQ) is valuable to knowing if a community is being adequately served.
3. What are the socio-economic and education levels of the library communities in the study? Could these factors affect collection development?
4. What are the religious beliefs of the counties surveyed? Would these demographics play a role?

The Materials

1. Only twenty-three non-fiction titles were searched for in the catalogs. Could there have been a larger collection of both fiction and non-fiction relevant to LGBTQ youth that were not found in this limited search?
2. Data suggests that more YA LGTBQ non-fiction titles were collected in the year 2000. What factors contributed to this leap in collection development during this particular year?
3. The authors state that public libraries should provide more non-fiction materials to young adult LGTBQ readers in the South. By what criteria (focus on what issues) will selections be made?
4. LGTBQ populations are not a homogenous group. Different needs require different information and material choice.

Ideas for Future Studies

1. Look at the LGTBQ demographics of each county and whether libraries are meeting the needs of these populations.
2. Look at the socio-economic, educational and religious demographics of each community and how these may correlate to libraries’ LGBTQ collections.
3. Do a follow-up study on any changes in these counties. Have there been any other counties that have passed anti-discrimination ordinances since the article was published? Has anything changed in South Carolina since none of the four counties had passed anti-discrimination ordinances at the time of this study? Has anything changed in these counties since the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states in June, 2015?
4. Study the entire collection of LGBTQ-related materials in each public library: fiction, non-fiction – separated by age level. Information needs will differ greatly between 12 year-olds and 18 year-olds.

American Library Association Council. (1996). Library bill of rights. Retrieved from:

Martin, H. J., and Murdock, J. R. (2007). Serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning teens: A how-to-do-it manual for librarians. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers.