Master’s students represent QLA, lead workshop at ally conference

GSLIS master’s students Jessica Colbert and Annabella Irvine will participate in the Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference (MBLGTACC) this week, where they will lead a workshop on locating LGBT materials in libraries and will represent the GSLIS student group, Queer Library Alliance (QLA). Held annually, the interdisciplinary conference is organized by students and is the largest event of its kind in the country. MBLGTACC 2016 will be held at Purdue University on February 19-21.

The workshop, "Finding Ourselves in the Library: Locating LGBT Materials in Libraries,” was developed by Colbert and fellow GSLIS MS/LIS student Brittany Craig.

Abstract: This workshop serves to assist students in pursuit of queer literatures, histories, and other LGBTQIA-related library materials. Libraries have been a hub for marginalized populations, particularly those of lower-income levels, to access information. Despite being free, though, library materials are not always accessible due to challenges with finding them. Through an intersectional approach, libraries and librarians can improve information access. This workshop will provide search assistance, covering subject terms and keyword searches that follow Library of Congress subject headings....As progressive and queer librarians, we believe that subject headings should reflect the identifications used by queer communities themselves, but the reality is that library materials are still classified under terms and headings that may not be intuitive to the queer researcher or reader. This workshop breaks down why these headings exist and how to use existing headings to find queer-representational materials.

“With this workshop, we aim to show others the language that is used [in library catalogs], and also some ways to make their own collections and catalogs better,” said Colbert.  “As librarians and information professionals, the QLA believes it is our duty to help educate people about issues like this, as well as to show nonlibrarians that not every librarian they encounter will be an ‘outsider’—some of us are just like them and have gone through the same struggles and oppressions. Hopefully this will encourage more people to use their librarians, because that anxiety and fear might be lessened.”

“If people leave the workshop and are able to find materials about LGBT topics more easily, then I think that is a victory for everyone involved. We want to empower people,” she said.

Earlier this year, Colbert presented on this topic at BOBCATSSS, an international, student-led LIS symposium. Her poster, “The Search that Dare Not Speak Its Name: LGBT Information and Catalog Records,” received the event’s best poster award.

Updated on
Backto the news archive

Related News

Gabriel to present research at ACRL 2021

PhD student Jamillah R. Gabriel will present her research at the Association of College & Research Libraries Conference (ACRL 2021), which will be held virtually from April 13-16. The theme of this year's conference is "Ascending into an Open Future."

Jamillah Gabriel

Twidale to share research on computer-supported cooperative work

Professor Michael Twidale will discuss his research on computer-supported cooperative work at the Columbia Science Review's event, "E-Living: Social Interactions in a Virtual World." E-Living, which will be held virtually on April 15, will include a panel discussion on how people form relationships online and how software can be better designed to support this networking. As described on the event's website, discussions will also focus on how videoconferencing companies like Zoom are evolving to make online interactions easier, "especially considering the fact that numerous companies and schools are moving online even after the coronavirus pandemic ends."

Professor Michael Twidale

Diesner and students organize tutorials for The Web Conference

Associate Professor Jana Diesner and her students have organized two tutorials for The Web Conference 2021. The conference, which will be held virtually from April 12-23, will address the evolution and current state of the Web through the lens of computer science, computational social science, economics, public policy, and Web-based applications.

Assistant Professor Jana Diesner

iSchool researchers to present at The Web Conference 2021

iSchool researchers will present their work at The Web Conference 2021. The conference, which will be held virtually from April 12-23, will address the evolution and current state of the Web through the lens of computer science, computational social science, economics, public policy, and Web-based applications.

Hao defends dissertation

Doctoral candidate Yun Hao successfully defended her dissertation, "Towards a Better Understanding of Music Playlist Titles and Descriptions," on April 6. Her committee included Professor J. Stephen Downie (chair); Associate Professor Vetle Torvik; Assistant Professor Nigel Bosch; Xiao Hu, associate professor at The University of Hong Kong; and Andreas Ehmann, manager of research/data science at Pandora Inc.

Yun Hao