June is Pride Month–this month is meant to mark LGBT pride and also marks the anniversary of the Stonewall riots in Manhattan in 1969. Pride month is widely celebrated with parades and celebrations (especially in bigger cities) and, it turns out, it is also Pride Reading Month for libraries. In other words: A great time to promote and display LGBT+ titles for a variety of reasons.
This years since Ingrid was no longer at the library, I was in charge of making a Pride Month display for the teen reading area in my library. As you can see from Ingrid’s displays last year, I had some big shoes to fill.
This year I decided to go simpler. I also decided to focus on books rather than public figures because that’s my happy place.
I started my display knowing I wanted to have a really big Gay Pride Flag as the background for my display. (I don’t have a bulletin board so I make all of my displays on foam core boards).
Construction paper worked great for making the flag although it involved a lot more planning than I expected to tape everything out properly. After that I headed to PicMonkey to make some book cover graphics to flesh out the display and some signage explaining that June is Pride Month.
Here’s the finished poster:
I wanted to highlight a variety of genres and authors so I deliberately tried to mix that up. Also I wanted good quotes.
- The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson: This is one of my go-to recommendations for readers looking for strong sci-fi and/or a great LGBT read. It’s just a really smart book for a lot of reasons. Here’s the quote on the display:
“The past stands in the path of the future, knowing it will be crushed.”
- I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson: I love everything about this book. It’s delightful, it’s clever. It’s a Printz AND Stonewall Award Winner.
“We were all heading for each other on a collision course, no matter what. Maybe some people are just meant to be in the same story.”
- Anything Could Happen by Will Walton: I haven’t read this one myself but people I trust love it (more on that later).
“There’s sickness, and there’s sadness. But the thing is, there’s love, too. I try never to forget that.”
- Willful Machines by Tim Floreen: I knew about this book but I didn’t realized the main character was gay (and closeted) until I looked at it more closely after some research. But obviously I wanted to highlight a dystopian, action novel.
“I don’t think I chose to be gay, if that’s what you mean. In fact, I didn’t choose a lot of things. Like being the son of the president. Or coming to Inverness. Or even being in the closet, really. All in all, I’d say I have about as much free will as an espresso maker.”
After the display board was made, I stocked it with books. Since I had space, I also set up some books near the reference desk. Here’s the finished display:
There are a lot of great LGBT books to choose from, so I knew I wanted a way to highlight more than what could fit on a single display. SO I also made a booklist of other amazing titles. I included 40 books because 1. it’s a round number and 2. it’s what my library system’s catalog lets me include in a list.
You can see the booklist here: http://tinyurl.com/pridebks.
I found the books through my own reading (I’m a big fan of Afterworlds for instance) and some research. If you are looking for YA books with LGBT characters that are done right, you can check out ALA’s Stonewall Award for a full list of honorees from now going back to 1971. ALA’s Rainbow List is another librarian-curated booklist that publishes a booklist every year with books that have “significant and authentic” LGBT content for children and teens (birth to eighteen). Their blog includes monthly updates on the year’s Rainbow List process and posts with the completed Rainbow List for each year (click here for the 2015 list).
As you can see there are tons of resources to choose from to find LGBT books to read and to highlight in a booklist or display.
Have you read any of the books I mentioned here? What are some favorites that I should check out for next year’s display? Hit me up in the comments.