Librarians should “sneak” pro-LGBT messages into conservative communities, according to a post on the American Library Association’s (ALA) website.
“Do you work for a library in a small, rural, conservative community? Are you a frontline staff member there, with no managerial or administrative authority? Do you wish you could do more to make your library more inclusive to the LGBTQIA++ community, but meet with resistance?” the post about LGBT book month reads. “I hope it’s not just me!”
Goldwater, a Maryland librarian, originally was named as the author of the post, but the ALA removed her name in 2019.
The ALA is the world’s largest library association. It has more than 58,000 members, including librarians, library workers, library trustees, and others.
If local leaders don’t promote LGBT material, librarians should tell kids about it anyway, Goldwasser wrote.
“So you’re not doing Drag Queen Storytime [yet], but you’re probably doing Regular Old Storytime, right? Try to “sneak” inclusive messages into your current programs,” she wrote.
If a book doesn’t include LGBT characters, a librarian could add them, Goldwasser suggested. A librarian reading to children could replace “Mama Bear” and “Papa Bear” with “Papa Bear” and “Papa Bear.” If a character’s gender isn’t mentioned, librarians should “change it up.”
“Chances are kids and families won’t even notice, but for that same-sex family or gender-nonconforming child who does, it will really mean a lot to them to know their librarian has their back,” wrote Goldwasser.