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Pride @ the Library

August 21, 2015
Audience
Adult
Young Adult
Budget
$1-50
Advance Planning

We wanted to take advantage of LGBT Pride Month in June and debut events to reach out to the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer/questioning) community in our area.

We searched for local LGBTQ community groups and academics at local colleges/universities teaching on LGBTQ history and issues. We contacted our local PFLAG chapter and a lecturer from Rutgers University-Camden to gauge interest in speaking or presenting at our library.

We attempted to represent as much of the diversity of the LGBTQ community as possible in a short program series. In addition to our events, a display was created in our reading room highlighting recent Stonewall Book Awards honorees in fiction and non-fiction.

Marketing

The event was publicized through the library's website and events page, in-house flyers, social media, and the PFLAG Collingswood newsletter.

Budget Details

Movies screened were part of the library collection and under our blanket license from Movie Licensing USA. Speakers at panels generously spoke for free.

Day-of-event Activity

Rooms were set up theater style for both film screenings and presentations. Room set-up also included fliering for upcoming events in the series and the library’s summer reading programs. For panel presentations, a table was set up at the front of the room with chairs and microphones for the speakers.

Program Execution

Our series originally featured one documentary, “Paris Is Burning,” and three speakers/panels. Turnout was small but enthusiastic for each event.

A presenter canceled a few weeks before her program, so a movie screening of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival hit “Pariah” was added in its place, since there was not enough time to arrange for another speaker.

We also encountered some issues with weather impacting the series. On the night of one panel, we had a tornado watch and travel was unsafe, so we canceled the program and rescheduled for the fall. The next week, we again saw severe thunderstorms that affected attendance.

Our goal was to show that the library was a place that welcomes the LGBTQ community, and to showcase the diversity of LGBTQ people.  We recently began introducing brief program surveys to gauge participant feedback, but data has not yet been tabulated. Verbal feedback was positive, and a couple of the participants expressed interest in having the series run again next year.

Advice

Your community has LGBTQ members, and particularly in light of recent cultural events and legal news, education about LGBTQ people is needed more than ever. Find the LGBTQ groups in your area, be it local, statewide, or even national organizations, and seek a partnership. See what they have to offer, and ask how your library can help promote the work they do, as well as inform your patrons about current issues in the LGBTQ community.

Short Title
Pride @ the Library

The Cherry Hill Public Library launched Pride @ the Library, a series of weekly events throughout June to celebrate and educate for LGBT Pride Month. Events included film screenings, panel presentations and a book display.

Program Date
June 2015
Summary

A New Jersey public library launched a series of events in June to celebrate and educate for LGBT Pride Month.