If you have been reading my last few blog posts, you will know that I have been job hunting for the last five months or so. The uncertainty of my coming financial situation has been weighing down on me for a while, and as a result, I have been pretty stressed. Well, this week I finally got a new job. I am now the librarian at the Mental Health Law Centre WA, and have been charged with the task of turning a whole pile of boxed donations into a functional library. Not many librarians ever get the chance to start a library from scratch, so it is pretty huge that I have been given this task before I have even graduated. Sure it is only a six month contract, but that will bring me close to the end of the year, and by that time I will have the piece of paper that says I am qualified, and I will be able to start applying for all those lovely jobs only available to New Grads.
We’re pleased to announce that our first Lightning Talk is going to be presented by Suzie Day, talking about queer activism in Australian libraries. Suzie blogs at Catalogue This! and is a library student at Curtin University, in Western Australia. Suzie has professional interests in children’s services, cataloguing and the intersection of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community with library services.
-From LibraryCamp Adelaide. Retrieved September 6, 2011
In addition, I prepared a list of resources and links (which can be found here) which Katie Hannan (who initally invited me to talk) was able to distribute to those who wanted to find out more.
Thanks Suzie (@MissSuzieDay on twitter) for sharing your passion with us LibraryCamp. Your talk has been so eye opening and has made me think about a whole range of different ideas, themes, concepts! Suzie highlighted the fact that Libraries can get in on Pride month. Is this being done in South Australia? Perhaps this is something that Public Libraries SA can take up? What a great idea. Let’s talk to Geoff Strempel, the director.
Libraries are safe spaces, what are we doing to be inclusive towards LGBTQ families, teens, children. The non-nuclear family is becoming more and more common. When asked about strategies for engaging public libraries on LGBTQ issues, Suzie said “just get out there and do it!”.
10 % of the population identifies with LGBTQ, what is your library doing to support this population demographic?
For more information look at this resource list for libraries.
– From LibraryCamp Adelaide .Retrieved September 6, 2011
The feedback I have had, both the LiveTweets on Twitter and people who have contacted me since then, has been really positive. The impression I am getting is that a lot of librarians, while interested, haven’t actually though about catering towards the LGBTQ community before. It is only once they are actually told that it can be done, and why it is so important, that they realise that they can have a profound impact on the LGBTQ community, particually teenagers.
ALIA now has an LGBTQ e-list!!
It has actually been going a few days now, but I forgot to but up the notice here.
You can subscribe here. Please be aware that we are not yet listed on the ALIA webpage, under their e-lists.
Also, we need a minimum of 10 members within a month to remain active, so even if you don’t think you will get involved, or join the conversation, please subscribe, so we can continue to exist.
Don’t forget, we can be found on Twitter as @aliaLGBTQ!
I had every intention of my next post being about my personal catalogue, but these arrived today, and I just had to share.
Available from Zazzle.com in a range of sizes.
|Sorry about the size…we needed it big enough to read!|
- A motion was made at QC that additional copies of Querelle (our annual arts and literature anthology) would be sent to public libraries within country area. The libraries can then chose if they want to insert the book into their collection, or simply leave it on the coffee table for users to pick up at their leisure. In some regional and rural libraries, this may well be the only LGBTQ related resorce they have in stock! As a country-queer myself, I know this has the potential to give young people in isolated area so much hope for the future. If you want your library to get involved in this, please email me your contact details, and I will make sure your library gets a copy next year (while this is aimed at public libraries in the country, if you are a metropolitan or a school library, and you are interested, we will be more than willing to include you).
- An additional motion was made that all future additions of Querelle will require an ISBN (something we haven’t bothered with before), to ensure that copies will reside in the National Library of Australia, as well as the Batty Library. This will cement Querelle’s presence in Australia’s history.
- Attention was drawn to a children’s picture book (in a public library) with a warning label attached to the front, advising parents that the book dealt with same sex relationships. The label has since been removed, and efforts are being made to trace where and when the label was first attached.
- I was approached by other members of the Australian library community, asking if I would assist them in establishing a special interest group within ALIA to deal with LGBTQ issues, similar to ALA’s GLBT Round Table. There has been interest in this in a while, and when it became apparent to the rest of WAs librarians that I was willing to get involved with LGBTQ issues within libraries, I was asked to be the public face of it (which I was more than willing). Initially it will just be an e-list under the name aliaLGBTQ, although it is the hope of those involved that once there is adequate membership, a fully-fledged group can be formed. The purpose behind the group will be to (a) support LGBTQ library staff, professionals, and students, as well as their straight allies, and (b) advise and assist libraries in cantering towards the LGBTQ community. This means that we are working for the benefit of not just the staff, but the users to. As soon as the e-list is going I will start pushing out the signup link. I am so excited about this!
- In addition, I am currently re-writing my QC presentation for a library audience (as opposed to the LGBTQ audience it was originally intended for), and I am planning on presenting at LibraryCamp Australia in September (this will also be a good chance to plug the ALIA e-list!!!).