Libraries Safe Places for All Readers – Los Alamos Reporter

Kids from a previous Los Alamos pride festival enjoy story time with librarian Melissa Mackey. Photo by Terra Hite

BY KELLY DOLEJSI
Los Alamos Pride Friends

To celebrate Los Alamos Pride Week, the County Library System will highlight LBGTQ + authors in its collection and offer both in-person programming and social media events.

The library actively purchases and includes LGBTQ + authors and materials in the library’s collection, and features a diversity of authors throughout the year, not just during pride celebrations, said Felicity Fonseca, Librarian for Engagement. community.

“The library strives to be a safe, welcoming and inclusive intellectual and physical space for LGBTQ + children, youth, adolescents and adults,” said Fonseca. “Pride week is an opportunity to celebrate and affirm the LGBTQ + community and for allies to actively engage in supporting the LGBTQ + community.

Fonseca added that it is important to library staff that the collection serves an “inclusive and diverse definition” of community.

“LGBTQ + literature offers LGBTQ + people the opportunity to see and recognize themselves across time and space,” said Fonseca. “It provides LGBTQ + people with the language and frameworks to articulate our experience. LGBTQ + literature also educates everyone about the various possibilities of the LGBTQ + experience, builds empathy through connecting with the characters, and much of it is just a great read.

The Library’s Youth Services Department will host an in-person outdoor story hour featuring LGBTQ + authored books at the Mesa Public Library at 10 a.m. on Thursday, June 10. While story time is best for ages 3 to 6, everyone is welcome.

The Los Alamos Public Library System also invites everyone to read books with pride on a night of

LGBTQ + literature at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 10.

Going through social media, library staff will announce a “Pride Pick of the Day” Monday through Saturday, June 7-12, in which staff will recommend queer titles they like from a particular collection or genre. Fonseca said there will be recommended titles for young people and adults.

From June 6-10, Los Alamos Public Libraries invite anyone of any age to text 505-500-4406 with the name of their favorite queer character in literature. On Friday, staff will randomly draw a winner from all of the entries and create a word cloud with the names of the characters to share on social media.

The random winner will receive a free copy of We Are Everywhere: Protest, Power and Pride in Queer Liberation History. The winner will be notified by text message and must be able to pick up their prize at one of the local libraries.

While June, as a month of pride celebrations, has its roots in the Stonewall Uprising from 1969, PRIDE as an acronym refers to both a group of radical gay political activists from the 1960s promoting personal rights in advocacy and education and the declaration Promoting Respect, Inclusion and Dignity for All.

“Respect, inclusion and dignity for all are core values ​​of the library,” said Fonseca, “and PRIDE as a celebration is an opportunity for the library to be an active ally of the LGBTQ + community, to showcase parts of the library’s collection, and in doing so, to contribute to education around LGBTQ + issues.


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