Saturday, June 06, 2015

June is GLBT Book Month

Earlier this year, the American Library Association designated June as GLBT Book Month, a new event that joins ALA’s roster of other annual outreach initiatives such as Teen Read Week, Banned Books Week, Library Card Sign-up Month, Freedom of Information Day, and National Library Week, events designed to call public attention to issues of importance and to demonstrate the diversity and inclusiveness of the ALA's service goals. The ALA also supports the commemoration in libraries of national events like Women’s History Month and Black History Month. In its announcement of GLBT Book Month, ALA said it hoped to inspire “a nationwide celebration of the authors and writings that reflect the lives and experiences of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.” Burbank Public Library has marked GLBT Book Month with a special display located in the lobby of our Central Library that showcases the variety of GLBT titles the library has in its collection.

Central Library GLBT Book Month display
The inaugural GLBT Book Month will culminate with many GLBT events and programs at ALA’s 2015 Annual Conference in San Francisco June 25-30, including a preconference program on “library outreach to GLBT people, and sessions on curating the history of GLBT activism, the evolution and acceptance of collecting GLBT materials in libraries, use of GLBT materials in libraries, and serving transgender patrons.”

The ALA’s designation of GLBT Book Month has already resulted in an enthusiastic response from book publishers. Since 1971, the ALA has sponsored the Stonewall Book Awards (administered by the association’s GLBT Round Table), which have recognized the best books published in GLBT literature and non-fiction annually. The GLBT RT also publishes an annual bibliography of recommended titles for children and young adults (the Rainbow Book List) and the best books for adults (the Over the Rainbow Book List). The ALA announced this year that it will partner with the Lambda Literary Foundation in its Writers in Schools Program.

The Burbank Public Library maintains on-line bibliographies of new and recent GLBT fiction and non-fiction it has added to the collection (accessible on its library catalog page), and the library’s Young Adult Services department has produced a printed bibliography of GLBT fiction titles for teens that is available at each branch.

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