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[Webinar] Collecting and Protecting LGBTQ+ Materials and Programs

Monday, July 27, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Yumeka Brown
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Public and school libraries experience the most challenges to materials, and in 2019 eight out of the top ten most challenged books were on that list for having LGBTQ+ content. While some schools and libraries were or are physically closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, challenges continue to take place and discriminatory legislation toward LGBTQ+ individuals is ongoing. 

The Collecting and Protecting LGBTQ+ Materials and Programs webinar, hosted by the Freedom to Read Foundation, will examine collection development tools for LGBTQ+ materials and digital resources and explain how to navigate challenges to library programs and materials. Co-sponsored by the American Library Association’s Rainbow Round Table (RTT) and Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT), the webinar will take place Wednesday, Aug. 5, at 2 p.m. CST. The webinar is free for members of FTRF, IFRT, and RRT, and $25 for non-members. Attendees must register in advance

The webinar panelists have each been proactive in collecting LGBTQ+ materials, working through challenges to materials, or navigating programming challenges and protests. Many library workers will experience some form of intellectual freedom challenge in their career, whether it’s hearing a patron complaint, struggling with the urge to censor a title by not purchasing it rather than face challenges, or becoming embroiled in a community-wide debate. Staff and members of the FTRF, IFRT and RRT) hope to provide education and support in these areas and help current and future librarians, library staff, students and patrons respond to these issues in ways that are proactive and protect access to information for all.

About the Presenters:

Sukrit Goswami is the director of the Haverford Township Free Library since June 2018 and current Chair of Intellectual Freedom Committee of the Pennsylvania Library Association. Throughout his career he has worked as a director of teen programming, volunteer coordinator, reference librarian and a library assistant in upstate New York. His library career began as a library assistant (page) at his university’s library when he was pursuing his undergraduate degree. Goswami is, both personally and professionally, an advocate for LGBTQ+ individuals and for persons of color.

Dr. Rae Anne Montague is on the Chicago State University Information Studies Department faculty and she currently serves as Chair of the American Library Association Rainbow Roundtable. Montague is a former teacher and school librarian. Her current research centers around social justice and learning communities. Montague is interested in developing critical understanding of community engagement and facilitating effective information practices and services in schools and with underserved populations. Montague is currently involved in scholarly activities for K-12 education, at juvenile detention centers and with the LGBTQ community. 

Tom Taylor is director of the Andover Kansas Public Library. Previously Taylor was the Member Library Services Coordinator for the South Central Kansas Library System. He has also worked at public and academic libraries in Kansas and Florida. Taylor is currently the chair of the State Library of Kansas Advisory Board. He is a past president of Wichita Area Library Association and the Rotary Club of Andover.

Webinar Sponsors:

The Freedom to Read Foundation is a nonprofit legal and educational organization founded in 1969 to promote and protect the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press; protect the public's right of access to information and materials stored in the nation's libraries; safeguard libraries' right to disseminate all materials contained in their collections; and support libraries and librarians in their defense of First Amendment rights by supplying them with legal counsel or the means to secure it.  

In addition to its litigation and legal advocacy in defense of First Amendment freedoms, the foundation supports projects and programs to educate librarians and the public about the importance of defending the right to read and speak freely by providing grants to libraries, schools, and community institutions across the country. FTRF also supports and funds initiatives and scholarship programs to improve intellectual freedom education for LIS professionals and students. 

The Rainbow Roundtable is the nation's first gay, lesbian, bisexual and professional organization. RRT is committed to serving the information needs of the LGBTQIA+ professional library community, and the LGBTQIA+ information and access needs of individuals at large. Members and staff are committed to encouraging and supporting the free and necessary access to all information, as reflected by the missions of the American Library Association.

The Intellectual Freedom Round Table  provides a forum for the discussion of activities, programs and problems in intellectual freedom of libraries and librarians; serves as a channel of communications on intellectual freedom matters; promotes a greater opportunity for involvement among the members of the ALA in defense of intellectual freedom; and promotes a greater feeling of responsibility in the implementation of ALA policies on intellectual freedom.

Date: Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Time: 3 p.m. Eastern / 2 p.m. Central / 1 p.m. Mountain / 11 a.m. Alaska / 9 a.m. Hawaii

Where: Online Webinar

Cost: Free for members of FTRF, IFRT, and RRT

Register Here:

Contact: Yumeka Brown

Learning Outcomes:

Attendees will 

  • Learn to define and engage in discussion on the topic of library programming and how to navigate challenges to library programs.

  • Hear about a specific challenge to LGBTQ+ materials and gain insight into how they may handle challenges to these materials. 

  • Learn collection development tools for LGBTQ+ materials and digital resources in addition to access and advocacy for these materials.

Who should attend:

Librarians, school library media specialists and educators at all grade and age levels, as well as individuals interested in access to information and technology and the intersection of access and social justice.