Baby, I Was Born This Way! How Local Teens Helped a Library Deliver an LGBTQ Collection

  • Sabrina Tusing Oregon City Public Library
  • Barratt Miller Oregon City Public Library
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While the organization We Need Diverse Books has increased the number of high-quality LGBTQ books being published by mainstream publishers, it hasn’t gotten easier for teens to find them on library shelves. They often don’t know the books exist and aren’t comfortable asking for assistance from library staff. In order to bridge this gap, librarians working with teens need to be more proactive in designing collections and spaces that improve access to LGBTQ resources.

In this article, we outline how Oregon City Public Library worked with a local group of LGBTQ teens to develop a Teen LGBTQ collection. By sharing our experiences and the resources we utilized, we hope to provide other libraries with a process they can use to meet the unique needs of teens in their communities. While a dedicated LGBTQ collection was the best choice for us, something different might work better for you.


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Author Biographies

Sabrina Tusing, Oregon City Public Library

Sabrina Tusing has been a Youth Services Library Assistant III at Oregon City Public Library since 2017. Sabrina holds an MLIS from San Jose State University and has been working with teens in library settings since 2014. In her free time she enjoys delicious vegan dinners with friends, reading true crime, and collecting mid-century modern furniture pieces. Follow OCPL’s Teen Instagram here: @oregoncitylibrary_teens

Barratt Miller, Oregon City Public Library

Barratt Miller has been the Youth Services Librarian at Oregon City Public Library since 2016. She’s worked with kids and teens in public libraries in Illinois and Oregon since 2010 and earned her Master of Science in Library & Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2012.

How to Cite
Tusing, S., & Miller, B. (2020). Baby, I Was Born This Way! How Local Teens Helped a Library Deliver an LGBTQ Collection. OLA Quarterly, 25(4), 35-40.