You belong at your library, you belong EVERYWHERE! This session focuses on the need for libraries to create private, safe and inclusive programming for LGBTQ+ in their communities that is ongoing, sustainable and accessible. We begin by developing an understanding of basic terminology, obstacles and barriers facing members. We explore why programming is vital and how public libraries can align themselves with meeting the needs of all LGBTQ+, especially youth. We then examine the value of community partnerships, outreach and connections.
You Belong LGBTQ+ Youth & Allies is a pilot program spear-headed by Sepideh Mckensy (Youth Services Librarian) at Toronto Public Library’s Fairview Branch. This weekly after school club for LGBTQ+ youth ages 13-19 years old is the first of its kind for Toronto Public Library in the North York Area. Learn from firsthand experience of what it is like to launch this program, and the challenges and rewards.
Participants will promote and celebrate the diversity of Toronto through programming that is accessible, attentive and resourceful for ALL of their community members including these key objectives:
– Have the knowledge and tools necessary to be comfortable in providing LGBTQ+ programs for diverse youth that are sensitive, safe, and inclusive.
– Gain program ideas that are cost-effective and beneficial to all parties, including meeting programming goals and strategic initiatives.
– Acquire innovative ways to promote LGBTQ+ collection and resources that is reflective of LGBTQ+ needs.
– Find community resources that supports the achievement of LGBTQ+ community members.