From the Chair: Not just on Christopher and Castro

By Peter Coyl

As I’ve wound down from ALA Annual I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on this past year as a round table and thinking of what we plan on doing in the coming months.

This last year the GLBTRT has accomplished quite a lot. We rolled out GLBT Book Month under the auspices of the GLBTRT along with ALA. We sponsored our first Emerging Leader. We developed the new Newlen-Symons Award for Excellence in Serving the GLBT Community. We’ve had successful programs at Midwinter (on the FDA’s Blood Donation policy) and at Annual (a number of co-sponsored programs as well as our own), plus a pre-conference which had excellent feedback.

Looking forward we will be developing a plan to promote and grow GLBT Book Month, increase our membership, begin planning for our 50th Anniversary, develop another award for GLBT political activism and so much more. We will be working with the program planning committee to develop webinars. And so much more.

San Francisco provided the perfect backdrop for our conference; With the Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell the nation realizes that we are not just in Castro and on Christopher Street. We are everywhere.

Despite the Supreme Court decision and marriage equality, we know and recognize that there are places where our Librarians and Library staff can still be fired for being gay. We’ll begin formulating ideas soon on how we as a Round Table can encourage our local jurisdictions to pass non-discrimination ordinances or rules to keep Library staff safe in their jobs wthout fear of losing them for being who they are.

Our mission, in part, is to help in the “education and learning regarding the needs of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender professional community and population at large.” This means if you are in a small library in rural Montana, or in the heart of Brooklyn, we are here for you. This round table is your round table. The Board is open to ideas and suggestions. You can always contact us using the Board Contact Form

I look forward to this next year as your Chair. We have a lot to accomplish and I am excited to do so.

Peter Coyl


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