The Library as a Queer Space: Investigating Access and Provision for LGBTQ+ Patrons. Mark Ward

The Library as a Queer Space: Investigating Access and Provision for LGBTQ+ Patrons. Mark Ward

This paper investigates access and provision for LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer,+) users of Dublin’s public libraries. It seeks to build a complete picture of access and provision by surveying not only LGBTQ+ users on their experiences, but also by surveying heterosexual and LGBTQ+ staff on their attitudes towards providing an accessible service, as well as interviewing management on their approaches and policies. An unresearched aspect of Irish library life, this crucial research looks to integrate LGBTQ+ experiences with the landscape of literature on the subject, as well as staff policies, procedures and provision.

Central to this change was the development of a new teaching programme, to be multi-disciplinary and standardised in approach, and considering information literacy provision in its widest context. The teaching programme is mapped to MU Library’s Information Literacy Strategy Framework. Classes under the programme were first delivered in 2018.

Our teaching programme focuses on activity-based classes to achieve the five IL competencies identified in our Framework.

In our presentation, we will explain the context and background to our decision to move to a functional model, with reference to the University’s new undergraduate curriculum, which focuses on critical skills, offers students opportunities to engage in experiential learning, and provides a multi-disciplinary focus for student module choices.

Aine will describe the process of creating a menu of class options with standardised lesson plans and content for our classes, and the pedagogical practice of student learning through active engagement.

She will give examples of this work in practice, showcasing tools used (e.g. Mentimeter software) and activities undertaken, and talk about the successes and areas for learning arising from the classes.

However, a key focus of our paper is to look at the practical aspect of class delivery and the benefits to co-delivery of these classes. How does this work in practice? 

Catherine will share her experience of co-delivering the classes, and describe her role, offering recommendations about successful delivery of activity-based classes.

We hope conference attendees will find our session practical, thought-provoking and will be able to take away some ideas for similar classes in their library, in whichever sector.


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