Research Librarian University of Tennessee - knoxville
Book banning is on the rise in public and school libraries and statistics from a PEN America report shows that 41% of all book challenges involve LGBTQ, sexual orientation or gender identity. Tennessee is ranked 4th in the nation when it comes to book bans (PEN, 2022). In 2022 Tennessee passed a law requiring the inventories of all school and classroom libraries to be posted publicly and beginning in 2023 each book is now scrutinized for age appropriateness by the the Textbook and Instructional Materials Quality Commission. This poster discusses The Knoxville Rainbow Library (KRL) that was created to provide LGBTQ+ books to the community. The Knoxville Rainbow Library was created in 2020 and is housed in a local trans-owned coffee shop. Since then, KRL has grown to more than 1,000 LGBTQ+ books and has added two additional branches–one in the KnoxPride Community Center and one in Bryant’s Bridge, an transitional housing program for LGBTQ+ young adults. The KRL is managed by by a lesbian academic librarian at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville as part of her community outreach and service. In addition to running the KRL, the librarian promotes herself as the Knoxville Lesbrarian and offers research assistance to the area’s queer community. This poster will provide insights on the challenges and lessons learned related to building a community library, including collection, organization, circulation, outreach, marketing, programming and donor relations.