‘Celebrating Libraries as Safe Spaces for LGBTIQA+ Communities’ will be released as a Radio National Big Ideas podcast on Thursday 15 February at 8pm. You will be able to access it then via this link.

‘Celebrating Libraries as Safe Spaces for LGBTIQA+ Communities’ was held on 15 November 2023 at the State Library of Victoria. The event was hosted by the Office of the Commissioner for LGBTIQA+ Communities, in partnership with Public Libraries Victoria and the State Library of Victoria as part of Trans Awareness Week.

It was attended by approximately 80 librarians from around Victoria, including library staff impacted by cancelled LGBTIQA+ events, LGBTIQA+ protests and attacks. The event included:

  • An Acknowledgement of Country
  • A discussion panel with Dr Todd Fernando, former Commissioner for LGBTIQA+ Communities, Angela Savage, CEO of Public Libraries Victoria, and Jane Cowell, President of the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA); the event was MC’ed by Karen Pickering
  • Drag Trivia with First Nations drag performers
  • Four trans and queer writers (Sam Elkin, Jasper Peach, Anatasia Le and Carolyn D’Cruz) who spoke about what libraries mean to them
  • A sing-a-long to finish (You Need to Calm Down and Simply the Best).

Those attending were encouraged to wear Rainbow gear or dress up as their favourite queer book character. There were Rainbow lights and cupcakes and Rainbow families in attendance.

Other partners included Rainbow Families Victoria, Rainbow Community Angels, TransGender Victoria, Hares and Hyenas Bookshop (contributed a prize), Arts Centre Melbourne (contributed a prize) and Archer Magazine (contributed magazines for all who attended).

The Radio National podcast will cover highlights of the event.

Please feel free to share this information widely.

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