By Jenn Watt
Published Dec. 20 2016
There was a time when all one could find in a local library about gay lesbian and transgender issues was confined to a line in the encyclopedia. It wasn’t that long ago either says Marg Cox executive director of Point in Time Centre for Children Youth and Parents in Haliburton. She heard a story of someone with just that experience a few years back at a Gay Straight Alliance conference.
Libraries and society have come a long way since then but the work of inclusivity is ongoing. Books and videos that address explain discuss and normalize all sexual orientations and genders should be accessible to the population Cox said which is why Point in Time recently fundraised to enhance the local library’s collection.
During a Kate Reid concert earlier this year donations at the door were put towards a “Rainbow Collection” for the library. The $500 raised was put towards supplementing the current collection at Haliburton County Public Library said HCPL CEO Bessie Sullivan.
Sullivan said Point in Time helped choose materials to purchase gathering suggestions from a workshop done with Reid a musician and LGBTQ activist while she was in the Highlands.
Having a collection specifically about gender and sexual identity helps to bring that community into the mainstream Cox said and shows them there is acceptance in the community – even if there isn’t in their home.
Friends and family of those who are gay or transgendered have used the library to learn how to best support their loved ones Sullivan said.
This collection makes that easier.
The books are not externally labelled as LGBTQ but can be found on the library’s website: haliburtonlibrary.ca. It is on the right-hand column under “Popular searches” called Rainbow Collection. All branches of the library have access to the collection.