PLIG/LGBTQ Journal Club Sept. 20

Hi everyone,

We’re excited to team up with the Public Libraries Interest Group to kick off their first journal club! Posted here is information about the event, links to the articles, and discussion questions.

Do you love research? Would you like an opportunity to meet and discuss
public library interest topics with your peers?
The BCLA Public Libraries Interest Group (PLIG) is pleased to introduce
the PLIG Journal Club, an informal “reading club” where you can engage
in dialogue about professional literature on selected topics.

SAVE THE DATE!
PLIG Journal Club #1 with co-host BCLA LGBTQ Interest Group
Thursday, September 20, 2018, 7:00-9:00 pm
Pollyanna Library: 100-221 E Georgia St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1Z6
Everyone is welcome. Light snacks provided and cash wine bar available.

RSVP:
https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/bcla-public-library-interest-group-journal-club-tickets-49481372116
Watch for information about sessions, topics, articles, and remote participation.
Gillian Bassett, Sara Ellis, Marisa Tutt
PLIG Journal Club organizers

Articles to Read and Discuss

Dawn Betts-Green, Don Latham. “Drawing Queerness: Evaluating Notable LGBTQ Graphic Novels for Teens.” The Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults, vol. 8, no. 2, Dec. 2017, pp. 1–23.

Stevens, Gregg A. “Curry’s Study on the Quality of Public Library Reference Service to LGBTQ Youth.” Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, vol. 13, no. 1, 2018, pp. 57–63.

Discussion Questions

We’ll have additional questions to get us talking at the event. To start, consider the following:

  • Does the article present a clearly focused issue?
  • Does the article present a valid representation of the topic? Consider how the research was performed and/or sources presented.
  • Do conclusions made by the author accurately reflect their analysis/discussion? If not, what more do we need to know?
  • Does the article shed light on any gaps or limitations in current knowledge and/or practice?
  • How might you use this information to inform your work?

Feel free to share your thoughts online as well! Comment on this post or tweet @BCLA_LGBTQ using the tag #BCLAjournalclub

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Reflecting on Freedom to Read Week

Freedom to Read Week brings up mixed emotions for me. On the one hand, I relish the opportunity to challenge literary censorship and put some of my favourite books on display. On the other hand, it can be sobering to reflect on the types of books I’m putting out. The term “banned books” conjures images of salacious and violent classics like The Scarlet Letter or The Lord of the Flies, their banning a distant memory. In reality, books are still being challenged in libraries and schools, and a great deal of them are due to LGBTQ+ content.

ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom publishes annual lists of the top ten most challenged books, and half of the 2016 titles (the most recent available list) have been challenged over LGBTQ+ content.

These include:

This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki

This One Summer

Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Drama

George by Alex Gino

George

I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel, Jazz Jennings, and Shelagh McNicholas

I Am Jazz

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

Two Boys Kissing

Previous years include many LGBTQ+ titles as well, such as

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

 

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell

(This title in particular has been on the list many years running, despite being based on a true story.)

And Tango Makes Three

It seems you could point at essentially any LGBTQ+ title, especially children’s or young adult, and it is likely to have been banned or challenged at some point.

Freedom to Read Kit

Canada is not immune from these challenges either. In this year’s Freedom to Read Kit, Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies professor Rob Bittner discusses the challenges that are frequently levied against children’s books with LGBTQ+ content. His article “You’re Letting My Kids Read What?!” explores the backlash and moral panic that often occurs when these books pop up in libraries and classrooms.

So, while I delighted in watching LGBTQ+ titles fly off the shelves this past week (marking them as banned really does seem to make them more enticing), it was with the heavy knowledge that these books are still under attack, especially when they have younger target audiences. However, it really makes me appreciate connecting with library professionals, academics, and other community members who are fighting for the acknowledgement and acceptance of LGBTQ+ literature for all ages.