Libraries Respond: Services to LGBTQ+ People

Libraries can serve lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LBGTQ) people by ensuring that this population is reflected in library collections and provided with services at the library.  As a population which is often the subject of discrimination and harassment, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people can benefit from the access to information which libraries provide and the sense of community which library programs can help foster. It is important to note that the LGBTQ population is diverse, spanning age groups, ethnic and racial groups, socio-economic groups, and personal identities. 

Equity of Access Issues for  Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People

The Library Bill of Rights affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas and provides for access to information for all people.

Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender peoples’ access to libraries may be limited or prohibited by many issues, including:

  • Collections which do not present LGBTQ content or perspectives. LGBTQ materials can often be censored under partisan or doctrinal disapproval
  • Environments which are not welcoming or inclusive of LGBTQ people and which, through actions by staff or other patrons, may be made unwelcome to LGBTQ people and their families
  • Programs which do not address the LGBTQ experience
  • Services which are not promoted to LGBTQ populations or in collaborations with local LGBTQ organizations

ALA Resources

ALA Member Group

ALA Policies