Notes from the Executive Director – July 2020

Posted: July 1, 2020

This month, the Collaborating Partners (Michigan Cooperative Directors Association, Library of Michigan, Midwest Collaborative for Library Services, Michigan Library Association, Michigan Association of Media in Education, and Michigan Academic Libraries Association) are offering Creating Inclusive Libraries: Gender and Sexuality Awareness, a series of three online events designed to inform libraries about how to better serve and employ persons who identify across a range of genders and sexual identities, known commonly as LGBTQ+, or more expansively, LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, plus other identities). The cost to attend all three sessions is $25. The series is open to all. All three sessions will be recorded for those who register.

The Collaborating Partners invited several LGBTQIA+ persons and allies to join the planning group for this series. I would like to acknowledge and thank the following individuals for contributing ideas and suggestions that have made this series stronger:

  • Evette Atkin
  • Kelly Boston
  • Jessica Anne Bratt
  • Scout Calvert
  • Sherri McConnell
  • Carey Sperl
  • Damon Zuidema

I hope you’ll join us for as many sessions as your schedule allows.

In last September’s MCLS eNewsletter, I highlighted a list of LGBTQIA+ resources, including organizations in Indiana and Michigan. Here is an updated list, as a reminder for how to learn more about, support, and include LGBTQIA+ persons.

  1. ALA’s Rainbow Round Table offers book lists and reviews, a toolkit for serving LGBTQ+ individuals, collection development policy guidance materials, and information on how to be inclusive in efforts such as survey design.
  2. Located in Indianapolis, the Indiana Youth Group’s mission is “to create safe spaces, provide wellness programming, and educate LGBTQ+ youth and the community.” The outcomes that underlie their programming include self-acceptance, resilience, awareness of the LGBTQ+ community, the ability to support others, support away from home, and future leadership and advocacy for and in the LGBTQ+ community.
  3. With chapters located throughout the state, Transgender Michigan’s mission is “to provide advocacy, support and education while serving to create coalitions in the state of Michigan to unify and empower transgender and gender non-conformist communities.” They offer a helpline for trans persons, events, a speaker program, minority outreach, advocacy, and visibility.
  4. The Indiana Transgender Network “aggregates resources available to transgender and gender diverse people living in Indiana.” Their goal is “to make it easier for people making a gender transition or trying to understand the subject of gender identity to find counselors, medical resources, legal information, support groups, advocacy organizations, and other help on their journey.”
  5. Based in Detroit, Equality Michigan (EQMI) is “Michigan’s statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) political advocacy organization.” Their website’s primary goal is to “connect victims of individual incidents of bias, discrimination, harassment, and violence … to the support, referral and navigational services they need to achieve justice.”
  6. GLSEN (pronounced “glisten”) is “the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for LGBTQ students.” In their work, they “conduct extensive and original research to inform evidence-based solutions,” “author developmentally appropriate resources for educators to use,” partner with decision-makers and dozens of national educational organizations to help ensure that safe schools exist for every student, and “empower students to affect change by supporting student-led efforts to positively impact their own schools and local communities.” GLSEN has chapters in Indiana and Michigan.
  7. Indiana’s INSPIRE service contains many useful resources for Indiana citizens, including the following:
    1. Consumer Health Complete, which offers 779 full-text articles related to LGBTQ+ health needs
    2. Biography in Context, which includes five collections of primary source materials related to gender and sexuality (and Gale One File: Gender Studies)
    3. Biography Resource Center, which offers biographies and photos of influential LGBTQ+ persons
    4. Indiana Memory, which contains 157 primary documents in the LGBTQ Collection related to gay culture in Indiana
    5. Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts, which contains 240 full-text articles related to library service for the LGBTQ+ population
    6., which provides access to a collection of 677 LGBTQ+ books with accompanying digital resources, including author bios and interviews, book guides, activities and lessons, book readings, book trailers, and vocabulary lists along with awards and distinctions
  1. The Michigan eLibrary (MeL) also offers several of the same resources as INSPIRE, and has several other useful resources for Michigan citizens, including:
    1. Academic Search Complete, which offers a wealth of content geared toward academic institutions
    2. Gale in Context: Opposing Viewpoints, which includes LGBTQ+ resources in a list of over 300 topics on society and culture (including point/counterpoint featured articles)
    3. MAS Complete, a general topics database designed specifically for high school students, containing over 1,400 results from 1986 to the present (from magazine, newspaper, and biographical sources)
    4. MasterFILE Complete, which includes mostly popular magazines and reference books
    5. MeL eBooks, which contains thousands of fiction and non-fiction books with subjects related to LGBTQ+ persons
    6. NoveList Plus, which includes fiction and non-fiction book lists related to LGBTQ+ lives (and NoveList K-8 Plus, which offers lists of age-appropriate materials for younger readers)

I thank the staff at the Indiana State Library and MCLS for their help identifying the resources above. We at MCLS hope you find them useful in your work with all persons.

As always, if you have any questions about MCLS and what we can do for your library, please don’t hesitate to contact me at