Mission Statement

 

[Library:] One of the main sites of self-discovery for lesbians and gay men, usually through the books … Often such a search has been depressing, and sometimes the only books which even touch upon same-sex eroticism are those which exist to warn us off it, but the mere act of looking serves as a catalyst for the formation of identity.

Cassell’s Queer Companion.

Are you queer for books? Do you want to make your library more LGBT friendly but don’t know where to start? Use Queer for Books as a stepping stone to improving LGBT representation and outreach with practical resources and information for reference services, reader’s advisory, collection development and more.

The LGBT community deserves more from library professionals. The LGBT population is a sizable one that needs specialized resources much like any other group. The queer community is vulnerable because of prejudicial laws and rising hate crimes which brings a sense of urgency to LGBT outreach. Librarians can do their part in making the library a more welcoming place. These resources have been collected to assist librarians in serving their queer patrons better. This website should be regarded as a starting ground for wider research.

The American Library Association directs librarians to “provide the highest level of service to all library users” which includes LGBT patrons. Queer for Books was created to make that job easier.

Surveys have shown that LGBT patrons shy away from library services because they lack confidence that librarians can help them. Librarians should earn the trust of all their patrons by staying up to date on new resources and books for different groups whether they are serving Native Americans or senior citizens. LGBT people are no exception to this. Hopefully, this website can guide librarians to becoming more knowledgeable in making their libraries more queer friendly.

While this website is directed towards library professionals, I believe that regular LGBT readers and allies can make use of it. The publisher’s index and the reader’s advisory can lead to some fantastic queer fiction and non-fiction as well as magazines, forums, and pop culture sites. The national and international resources can provide readers with medical, legal, travel, and political information. My sincere hope is that this website can help fill the informational void for patrons in communities that lack LGBT representation.

Queer for Books was a finalist for the Katheryne B. Willock Library Research Award in the GPSC Student Showcase at the University of Arizona. It was created by library science student, Samantha Gardner. You can find her other web projects at SamiGardner.net.

If you have any suggestions for additional websites, publishers, resources, or other LGBT content, please fill out the form below with your suggestions.

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