We’re at the American Library Association Convention this weekend (#ALAAC16) talking not only about our upcoming IP titles, but also about The Thousand Book Challenge campaign in support of @thetrevorproject and public libraries. But we have also had a good opportunity to listen to librarians talk about what they see and what they need for their LGBTQ readers—especially at school libraries.
And they’ve had a lot to say, some of it heart-warming, some of it heart-breaking, and all of it reassuring us that we did the right thing when we launched Duet Books for LGBTQ-YA fiction one year ago.
There was the school librarian who said that it wasn’t uncommon for library staff to remove security strips from LGBTQ titles, knowing that teen readers might feel uncomfortable checking the book out. “The books disappear—and then mysteriously show up on a table a week or two later,” she said. This little act of compassionate rebellion really made us smile. You rock, librarians.
Others told us about the challenges of securing funding for books about gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and other queer characters. Administrators argue that there is no demand for the books because they aren’t checked out as often as bestsellers. The LGBTQ YA titles are actually read to the point of disrepair—in the library. Several librarians told us that they assume that kids don’t want to bring the books home. “(The administrators) only look at the numbers,” one said.
Overwhelmingly, librarians told us that they need more: More LGBTQ Young Adult fiction; more quality books that are well written and treat the readers and subjects with respect; more cover art that is age (and school) appropriate.
These stories reaffirmed why we have undertaken The Thousand Book Challenge, a dual philanthropic campaign to raise funds for @thetrevorproject‘s life saving efforts on behalf of LGBTQ youth while donating one thousand copies of a new, special edition of @killianbbrewer‘s The Rules of Ever After. Interlude Press will not make any money off the donations made to this campaign. By sponsoring these books with your tax deductible donations, you will help add to library collections for teen readers and help The Trevor Project fund its crisis intervention and suicide prevention efforts.