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Notes from the Executive Director – September 2019

Editor’s note: MCLS is one of the Collaborative Partners, a group of library organizations in Michigan who work together to put on programs and events for the library community. Recently, the Collaborative Partners canceled a planned event on gender and sexual identity, due to concern in the community about one of the event’s speakers. The event will be rescheduled, and planned in a manner that engages Michigan’s library community. As an organization that strives to learn constantly and to remain turned outward toward our community, MCLS has learned a great deal through this recent experience. See our August 20 Facebook post for more information.

Increasingly, libraries serve and employ persons who identify across a range of genders and sexual identities. This month, I’ll focus on just a few resources to help libraries serve, support, and work with persons of all genders and sexual identities in their communities.

  1. ALA’s GLBT Round Table offers book lists and reviews, a toolkit for serving LGBTQ+ individuals, collection development policy guidance materials, and information on how to be inclusive in efforts such as survey design.
  1. Located in Indianapolis, the Indiana Youth Group’s mission is, “to create safe spaces, provide wellness programming, and educate LGBTQ youth and the community.” The outcomes that underlie their programming include self-acceptance, resilience, awareness of the LGBTQ+ community, the ability to support others, support away from home, and future leadership and advocacy for and within the LGBTQ+ community.
  1. With chapters located throughout the state, Transgender Michigan’s mission is, “to provide advocacy, support and education while serving to create coalitions in the state of Michigan to unify and empower transgender and gender non-conformist communities.” They offer a helpline for trans persons, events, a speaker program, minority outreach, advocacy, and visibility.
  1. The Indiana Transgender Network, “aggregates resources available to transgender and gender diverse people living in Indiana.” Their goal is, “to make it easier for people making a gender transition or trying to understand the subject of gender identity to find counselors, medical resources, legal information, support groups, advocacy organizations, and other help on their journey.”
  1. Based in Detroit, Equality Michigan (EQMI) is, “Michigan’s statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) political advocacy organization.” Their website’s primary goal is to, “connect victims of individual incidents of bias, discrimination, harassment, and violence … to the support, referral and navigational services they need to achieve justice.”
  1. GLSEN (pronounced “glisten”) is, “the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for LGBTQ students.” In their work, they, “conduct extensive and original research to inform evidence-based solutions, author developmentally appropriate resources for educators to use,” partner with decision-makers and dozens of national educational organizations to help ensure that safe schools exist for every student, and “empower students to affect change by supporting student-led efforts to positively impact their own schools and local communities.” GLSEN has chapters in Indiana and Michigan.
  1. Indiana’s INSPIRE service contains many useful resources to Indiana citizens, including the following:
    1. Consumer Health Complete, which offers 779 full-text articles related to LGBTQ+ health needs
    2. Biography in Context, which includes five collections of primary source materials related to gender and sexuality (and Gale One File: Gender Studies)
    3. Biography Reference Center, which offers biographies and photos of influential LGBTQ+ persons
    4. Indiana Memory, which contains 157 primary documents in the LGBTQ Collection related to gay culture in Indiana
    5. Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts, which contains 240 full-text articles related to library service for the LGBTQ+ population
    6., which provides access to a collection of 677 LGBTQ+ books with accompanying digital resources, including author bios and interviews, book guides, activities and lessons, book readings, book trailers, and vocabulary lists along with awards and distinctions
  1. The Michigan eLibrary contains a wide variety of books on many aspects of gender and sexual identity, and several useful resources to Michigan citizens, including:
    1. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, which includes LGBTQ+ resources in a list of over 300 topics on society and culture (including point/counterpoint featured articles)
    2. Points of View Reference Center, which presents LGBTQ+ topics including gay and lesbian adoption, same-sex marriage, and transgender restroom use, in different ways and by different titles
    3. MAS Complete, a general topics database designed specifically for high school students, containing over 1,400 results from 1986 to 2019 (from magazine, newspaper and biographical sources)

My thanks to the staff at the Indiana State Library and MCLS for help identifying the resources above. We at MCLS hope you find them useful in your work with all persons.

As always, if you have any questions about MCLS and what we can do for your library, please don’t hesitate to contact me at or by phone at (800) 530-9019 ext 119.