By A. Faulkner
What is your role in the GLBTRT?
Right now I’m a member; previously I’ve served on the Rainbow List (2011-2013, Chair 2013), and the Programming Committee (2014-2016, Chair 2016).
What does the GLBTRT mean to you?
GLBTRT means an opportunity to meet other like-minded librarians, and a way to educate and inform ALA and the library world about GLBTQI issues that affect our patrons and our library world. I’ve made many lasting friendships through GLBTRT, and hopefully made a difference through my contributions.
Are you involved in ALA in other ways?
I’m a member of PLA, ALSC, and SRRT.
What professional work do you perform?
Right now I’m taking time off for personal reasons; professionally I’m a teen/YA librarian and public services manager.
What would you like to share about your personal life?
I’ve been married almost 20 years to my college sweetheart, and we have a rescued soft-coated Wheaton Terrier named Willow that travels with us most of the time. I’ve been in libraries since I was 8, volunteering first, then as a page, and worked my way up to manager of a branch library. While I’m not working now, I blog on Teen Services Underground, and stay involved within the library world and on GLBTQI topics. Teen services and GLBTQI services are a passion of mine, and very close to my heart.
What are you most proud of?
The committee work that I’ve done, including the Rainbow List Project and the programs that we put on during ALA Annual in Orlando, as well as presenting at the Texas Library Association Conference twice on Rainbow List titles. I think that we as GLBTRT members make a difference by putting these types of programs on for librarians, and by reaching the library staff, we’re making little changes that can reach patrons.
Who inspires you?
If we’re going with people I have to say certain members of my family. They’re going through personal struggles and yet they have such strength within that I don’t know that I could find. If we’re going with things, then strangely enough it’s always been theme parks. I love the engineering and structure behind them, as well as the stories. When done well, each ride and each area should have a story and a theming behind them, making them their own encapsulated world to explore.
What are your goals? (Professional and/or personal.)
To make a positive difference in the world, one person at a time. A small ripple eventually causes a wave that causes the tsunami of change.
What do you think (or predict) is the future of libraries?
I predict that libraries will adapt to and survive any challenge that we are given, whether it’s the funding cuts on the horizon, the changes in technology and demands, or the expectations of patrons. I hope that my grand-nieces and nephews will be going to programming and finally be accepted for who they are, not as whom others want them to be.
In what direction would you like the GLBTRT to move in the future?
I would love to see more education for library staff on GLBTQI issues. When we were presenting, we kept getting questions on how to work on challenges, how to present books without getting in “trouble” in a conservative workplace, how to reach questioning teens, etc.- things that we as GLBTRT members can share but need a platform for outside of conferences. Ideally, I’d like to see webinars and pairings with YALSA and ALSC and PLA to talk about current topics and issues, that we can reach members on a national and state level that need help now.
If you could be transported into the fictional world of any book, where would you go?
I don’t have a particular one – I seem to like most of the worlds save the dystopian ones…
What would be the title of your autobiography? Behold the Field in Which I Grow My Fucks Lay Thine Eyes Upon It and Thou Shalt See That It Is Barren
If you could only choose one song to play every time you entered a room for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Raise Your Glass by P!nk
If you could have a dinner party with 5 culturally or historically significant figures, living or dead, who would you invite?
Michelle and Barack Obama, Rosa Parks, Benazir Bhutto, and the 9th Doctor John F Kennedy
What is the meaning of life?