February 15, 2016, by Sarah
Love your library this LGBT History Month!
LGBT History Month is in full swing. Library Matters is delighted to join the celebrations with a guest post from Claire Henson, People and Culture Events Co-ordinator.
When I think of libraries, I remember a nine year old me, trotting off to Basford Library in Nottingham, to get six new books. I remember vividly the library staff removing the tickets from the book, the sound of the library stamp and being told I had three weeks to read them. But sure enough I would be back the following week for another six. Books were my safe haven, my escape and libraries were full of them, fully accessible to me (apart from the adult section of course, which I wasn’t allowed to go in till I was over 16!)
Libraries are places of learning, creativity, wonderment and so much more. As I grew older, other things competed for my attention, but my love for libraries remained true. As I began to realise that I was part of the LGBTQ community, my love for books helped me to understand who I was as a person and reading authors like Armistead Maupin made me realise that I could be just me, and that I was ok. Incidentally, it was Nottingham City Library and Nottinghamshire County Libraries that gave me the opportunity to meet Armistead Maupin at their annual Readers Day. It was possibly one of the most joyful moments of my life and I got to tell him what his books meant to me.
Libraries are important to the LGBTQ community as to any community as they allow us to educate ourselves, no matter how much money we have or where in the world we are from. They give us time to think and space for ideas to be born. The recent round of cuts to library services across the country have demonstrated the love that still exists for our libraries, showcasing protests and social media movements to save library services. People care about library services, because they enable us to come together as communities and share a space to make the world a better place through learning.
This LGBT History Month and others that have gone before and are yet to come, celebrate our history and the wonderful community of LGBT people across the world. Libraries are record keepers which allow access to our history through fictional voices and historical documents. This is why they are so important to not only the LGBT community, but for everyone.
If you want to find out more about the University’s festival of LGBT-related events, please see the LGBT History Month blog. West Bridgford Library also hosts a ‘Something About Us‘ talk on 23rd February.
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