The University of Maryland Libraries has enlarged its LGBTQIA+ English literature collections with 170 new titles of transgender and bisexual fiction and poetry.
In the face of rising book bans and challenges that disproportionately target LGBTQIA+ literature, UMD Libraries is committed to ensuring that a diversity of backgrounds, experiences and voices is reflected in its collections.
The Libraries already had a relatively robust collection of gay and lesbian literature; Humanities and Social Sciences Librarian Emily Cranwell Deinert and former Graduate Assistant for Teaching and Outreach Jack Owen MLIS ’23 collaborated to add most of the Transgender and Bisexual LAMBDA “Lammy'' Award finalists and winners to the Libraries’ collections. The awards from the nonprofit LAMBDA Literary recognize some of the most distinguished authors in the LGBTQIA+ literary canon, making the awards a useful starting point for this expansion.
“Because MLIS students often have few opportunities to gain collection development experience while completing their degrees, I deeply appreciated being able to complete a field study project that included hands-on collection development work,” said Owen. “And being able to expand our LGBTQIA+ literature collections through the field study made this project especially rewarding and a lesson I will take with me as I continue in my career.”
The newly purchased titles span over two decades of LGBTQIA+ literature, ranging from 2001 up to the present day. They include the short story collection "We Want What We Want" by Alix Ohlin, the poetry collections "I Love You and I’m Not Dead" by Sade LaNay and "The Sunflower Cast a Spell to Save Us From the Void" by Jackie Wang, and the novels "You Exist Too Much" by Zaina Arafat and "Summer Fun" by Jeanne Thornton. You can view all of the recently added titles and explore more of our LGBTQIA+ collection in the Queer Lit at UMD Research Guide.
These titles are held in the American Literature section on the seventh floor of McKeldin Library. If you have suggestions of more titles to purchase to build this collection, please contact Deinert at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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