Advancing IDEAs: Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, 2022 June 28

The following  post is one in a regular series on issues of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility, compiled by Jay Weitz.

Influential Queer books

Photo by Mathias Reding on Unsplash

For LGBTQ+ Pride Month in the United States, Book Riot‘s Leah Rachel von Essen has compiled her list of “The 100 Most Influential Queer Books of All Time,” to spread awareness of such texts to the “outside” world, but just as much to “increase internal visibility and acknowledgment” within the community itself. Essen has divided the list into “Fiction: Semi-Autobiographical, Fantasy, and More;” “Nonfiction: Memoir, History, and More;” and “Poetry.” Selections range from the verse fragments left by the ancient Greek Sappho to Torrey Peters’ 2021 Detransition, Baby, from stories of Indigenous cultures to Nobuko Yoshiya’s 1919 Two Virgins in the Attic (which has never yet been translated into English) to graphic novels. Where possible, content warnings have been included.

New LGBTQ books

Emily Pullen, New York Public Library (OCLC Symbol: NYP) Reader Services Coordinator, pulls together a dozen suggestions of “New LGBTQ Fiction for Pride 2022,” which includes literary fiction, science fiction, romances, mysteries, and short stories. If you prefer history, essays, memoirs, and other nonfiction, she’s got a separate dozen ideas for “New LGBTQ Nonfiction for Pride 2022.” Pullen writes, “We are fortunate to be living in a golden age for LGBTQ literature.”

Social justice warriors

In ALA’s Booklist, Donna Seaman has compiled “The Essentials: On the Front Lines for Social Justice,” fifteen memoirs and biographies of those “who fought and are still fighting against inequality and injustice on many fronts, from myriad manifestations of racism to anti-immigrant policies, gender and disability discrimination, environmental destruction, worker’s rights, and the justice system’s deep flaws and failings.” Some such as Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina justice on the United States Supreme Court, are well-known, whereas some such as Patrisse Khan-Cullors, one of the founders of the Black Lives Matter Movement, are less so.

“Believing the Unseen: Invisible Disabilities”

On Wednesday, July 27, 2022, 1:00-2:30 p.m. Eastern, the University of Central Florida (OCLC Symbol: FTU) Academic Affairs Diversity Taskforce “Diversity Speaker Series” will present the free webinar “Believing the Unseen: Invisible Disabilities,” by Jax Rogero of UCF’s Office of Student Involvement. Rogero will speak about the myths and misconceptions that have grown around some disabilities, the implicit biases that are bolstered by both real and fictional events, and how some disabilities become “fads” and are over-diagnosed.

“Intersections of Black Print Culture Studies and Bibliography”

Libraries, archives, and museums have long recognized our “diversity problem,” but the murder of George Floyd in 2020 has opened many eyes to “the complexity of what diversity actually looks like when conceptualized on a deeper level than the somewhat limited agendas of broadening demographic and cultural representation in workforce and collection development-related issues,” writes Jesse R. Erickson, Astor Curator of Printed Books and Bindings at New York City’s Morgan Library and Museum (OCLC Symbol: AN#). In his research article “Discursive Perpendicularity: Intersections of Black Print Culture Studies and Bibliography” in RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage, Spring 2022 (Volume 23 Number 1, Pages 13-32), he examines how, thanks to the dedication of scholars and not by accident, “academic bibliography and the study of Black print culture have begun to come together.” The convergence has enriched both disciplines and “can serve as a model for connecting communities of scholarship grounded in hegemony with those founded upon the radical notions of racial equity and liberation.”

Black Music Appreciation Month

Maureen Schlosser reminds us of another United States commemoration in June, writing “5 Picture Books to Honor Black Music Appreciation Month” in Knowledge Quest, the journal of the American Association of School Librarians. The books include Your Legacy: A Bold Reclaiming of Our Enslaved History, written by Schele Williams, illustrated by Tonya Engel; Stompin’ at the Savoy: How Chick Webb Became the King of Drums, written by Moira Donohue, illustrated by Laura Freeman; Nina: A Story of Nina Simone, written by Traci N. Todd, illustrated by Christian Robinson; King of Ragtime: The Story of Scott Joplin, written and illustrated by Stephen Costanza; and R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul written by Carole Boston, illustrated by Frank Morrison.

Pride and censorship

ALA’s June 16, 2022 Read Alert: A Booklist Newsletter brings together articles for Pride Month: a baker’s dozen “Queer Romance Novels” (page 10), ten audiobooks featuring “Trans and Nonbinary Narrators” page 17), and nineteen young adult romances for Pride in “Love is Love” (pages 20-21). There are also links to American Libraries advice on “Standing Up for Intellectual Freedom: Managing all stages of the book challenge process,” by Andy Gooding-Call, librarian for the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium (OCLC Symbol: MRQ) in North Andover, Massachusetts, USA; and “Collections under Fire: When the culture war comes for the school library,” by Nancy Jo Lambert, a public high school librarian in northern Texas.