Tag Archives: LGBTQ

LGBTI ALMS 2012, Amsterdam, 2012: Day 3

Today began with a fantastic presentation  by Richard Parkinson  from the British Museum. They are doing a lot of work with their collection, and have developed a paper trail and web portal, which gets more than 1000 hits per month. He also expressed his frustration at how difficult it was for him to find artefacts relating to lesbian women in history.

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LGBTI ALMS, Amsterdam, 2012: Day 2

Very tired tonight, so I only will write about todays highlight:

Dr Saskia gave an amazing presentation on her work as a researcher with lesbian women in 3rd world countries, particularly in Indonesia. For her, the safety of her subjects was of the utmost importance. In the 80s, she was blacklisted and deported from Indonesia, and could not finish her PHd because she could not take her thesis back to the women she interviews, who had the final say0so over the information published. After all, if the government found out who these women were, they could be killed.

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LGBTI ALMS, Amsterdam, 2012: Day 1

First day of the conference, and the opening icebreaker was done by a Australian Ex-Pat who has lived in Holland for 30+ years, yet still sounded as Aussie as myself or the four outher Australians that are here (two from the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives, an ex-pat living in Berlin, and someone else I have not met yet).

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Guest blog posts, and being mentioned by one of my fave bloggers!

I have recently written two guest blog posts, which were posted elsewhere.

The first was for the ALIA NewGrads blog, entitled The forgotten demographic: Catering towards the LGBTQ community in your library. So far all the feedback has been really positive, as well as a number of suggestions that build upon the content of the article.

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ALIA 5th New Librarians Symposium: Saturday


Early start, so everyone was still a bit sleepy for the first session. First speaker was children’s librarian, Sam Hughes, who was completely brilliant. Beginning with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and going on about three year olds kissing knees, we had a brilliant time. Makes me wish I could one day be a librarian like her.

But I think my favourite part of the day was in the afternoon, with a workshop on writing journals articles and conference papers. This is pretty relevant for me, as I would dearly love to write a paper ob LGBTQ issues within a library context. What that workshop made me realise is that I need more focus to the article. For example, focus on collection diversity, or visibility. Also, the scope (public libraries, vs. school libraries). Having these things pointed out to showed me just how far I need to go to get a professional journal article.
Another thing pointed out was the target audience. The few other journal articles I have found within this niche always seems to have been published in LGBTQ or advocacy journals. This means that the audience of these articles are within the LGBTQ Community already, and less likely to be a part of Library World. What I would love to do is bring these issues to Library World, rather than preaching to the choir.
That evening I had a lovely dish of mussels at the Belgian Beer Café, and enjoyed the company of Matthias, Stephan and Claire, while Eagles’ fans gave us headaches as they screamed at a TV.
Fantastic day. Looking forward to Kathryn Greenhill’s (librariansmatter.com) presentation tomorrow. As a student of her’s, I can say she is an AMAZING presenter.

Warning labels on children’s book

It recently came to my attention that a children’s picture book, King and King by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland, had a warning label on the front stating “Readers should be aware that this book is concerned with same sex relationships”. This was entirely inappropriate, so I got on Twitter and made a bit of a fuss.

While the content of King and King, and it’s sequel King and King and Family is considered controversial due to an image of two men kissing, it is a significant piece of children’s literature. While little fuss has been made about the original book, Koning en Koning (its original is in Dutch), the English version has often been challenged, particular in the US.

The State Library of WA was made aware of the label, and a response was given on Flickr at the time. In addition, letters were sent to the Margaret Allen (CEO of SLWA), Ruth Faulkner Library in Belmont (where the book was held), the Hon. John Day (Minister for Planning: Culture and Arts), and Stuart Cole, (CEO of the City of Belmont). You can download a copy of th letter sent in PDF format here:


Of the four letters sent, two responses were received. One from SLWA, the other from the Hon. John Day. Both letters can be read in this PDF file:


It should be noted that when Ms Allen from SLWA cited their anti-discrimination policy, sexuality was listed as ‘lifestyle choice’. For those who are unaware, your sexuality is NOT a choice (after all, with all the s**t society puts us through, who would choose to be gay?). Also, being gay is not a ‘lifestyle’, it is who your are. Just like being heterosexual is not a lifestyle.

In addition, Perth’s local gay rag, Out in Perth ran this article by Benn Dorrington on page 5 of their August issue.

Article from Out in Perth

So yeah. The label has been removed, and other copies in the SLWA system have been checked. It could have been a staff member (possibly a library assistant who has not partaken in formal TAFE or uni training), or even a member of the public. We may never know. At any rate, the label is gone. Thank goodness for that.

Just plain wrong