Consider yourself part of the collection management committee of your local library, or a library at which you would like to work. You must decide whether or not to separate LGBTQ fiction and African American Fiction from the general collection to its own special place. Some patrons have requested this, yet many staff are uncomfortable with the idea - saying it promotes segregation and disrupts serendipitous discovery of an author who might be different from the reader. Do you separate them? Do you separate one and not the other? Why or why not? You must provide at least 3 reasons for or against your decision. Feel free to use outside sources - this is a weighty question that is answered differently in a lot of different libraries.
The first time I read this prompt I was leaning towards labeling these sub-genres in a similar manner to the way we label a mystery or romance. However, upon further thought I have decided not to separate these from the general collection. Instead I would like to create bookmarks and booklists to help those who are not familiar with the authors locate them.
I made this decision for a couple of reasons.
- A label is never going to perfectly identify an object or person. The LGBTQ society is all about recognizing that people don’t always fit into the “norm”, so why should be try to label them?
- My second reason is that once you start labeling more specifically where do you decide to draw the line? I think labeling these sub-genres would open up many more issues in the library.
- A big theme in library studies is that a library or librarian does not censor. If we are separating these books from the general collection it feels like that is censorship.
Including these sub-genres in regular themed book displays is important as well. These genres will include themes such as romance, suspense, redemption and much more, so be sure to always try to include these in your choices.
This quote states it perfectly.
This article really fit this theme in my opinion and had a similar line of thinking.
Janice Pariat. "Why we don’t (and why we do) need a LGBTQ label for fiction." Scroll.in. 3 Jan. 2017. Web. 16 Apr. 2017.