CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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LGBTQ+ Resources for Libraries and Librarians

The CILIP Scotland logo in white with a rainbow book background

CILIPS is committed to helping make our profession safe, inclusive and accepting for all LGBTQ+ professionals and library users. Below is an evolving collection of resources that we hope will be helpful in supporting LGBTQ+ library staff members, enhancing the representativeness of library collections, and ensuring that libraries are spaces of inclusion and acceptance for everyone.

We welcome feedback on our ongoing EDI work from our members and the wider library and information community – if you have any comments or suggestions to share, please add them anonymously to this padlet page or email us anytime at

For LGBTQ+ library professionals:

  • The CILIP LGBTQ+ Network is a UK-wide community group that is free and open to all library, information and knowledge workers who identify as LGBTQ+, both CILIP members and non-members. Click here for more information about the Network’s activities or follow them on Twitter. An allies group for those who wish to support their LGBTQ+ colleagues will also be established shortly.
  • If you are ever in search of support or advice, Stonewall Scotland offers a freephone service and online/email information service, in addition to a variety of online resources on topics including coming out, partnership and parenting rights, and your legal rights if you experience discrimination.
  • Scotland’s LGBT Health and Wellbeing helpline is available for online, email and telephone support. They also currently offer a free telefriending service for any LGBTQ+ people in Scotland aged 50+ who may be feeling isolated as a result of the pandemic.
  • LGBT Youth Scotland offers support for young people as well as library/classroom activities – your library service can also sign up for their LGBT Charter, demonstrating your commitment to supporting young LGBTQ+ people in your community.
  • Pink Saltire provides a community voice for LGBTQ+ Scots and their website features a variety of helpful resources from general news and upcoming Pride activities to specific support during Covid-19.
  • Our Story Scotland is a charity that undertakes oral history research to collect, archive, preserve and present the life experiences of LGBTQ+ people in Scotland – read stories, share your own or invite members of your library community to do the same.
  • Scottish Trans is part of the Equality Network and aims to improve equality, rights and inclusion for trans and non-binary people in Scotland. Their website provides many informative and supportive online resources addressing issues like healthcare, the law regarding Trans Equality, and much more.
  • AVEN, the Asexuality Visibility and Education Network, offers a large number of resources to promote greater awareness and understanding of asexuality, as well as answers to FAQs and community forums.

For making workplaces more LGBTQ+ inclusive:

  • This CILIP blog offers some fantastic tips to get your organisation started with becoming more inclusive, whatever your sector, including training ideas for staff and suggestions for resource collections (for more book recommendations, please see below).
  • This glossary created by Stonewall is an easy-to-read yet informative introduction to the key terms you are likely to come across when engaging with issues that might affect LGBTQ+ people. The Homosaurus (love the name!) also offers an international linked data vocabulary for LGBTQ+ terms.
  • This padlet of resources includes book and journal article recommendations, news items and histories of LGBTQ+ life in Britain.
  • Stonewall best practice toolkits and resources – search by location, sector and/or what you want to achieve (from ’employee policies’ to ‘getting started with inclusion’, ‘role models’ or ‘facts and figures’).
  • This article by Steven Dryden for The British Library traces ‘A Short History of LGBT+ Rights in the UK’, highlighting the resilience of Britain’s LGBTQ+ communities in face of what has often been life-threatening prejudice and why it remains so important to create inclusive, welcoming spaces in our libraries today.
  • TUC have created this guide to being a good trans ally, helping you make sure that trans colleagues and library users feel safe, supported and included in your workplace.
  • Our friends at Book28 didn’t just share a brilliant blog about why #LibrariesAreEssential to inclusivity for our 2021 campaign (more below) but have also created a Public Library Worker Guide to welcoming LGBTIQ+ users, based on a combination of research and their own experiences as queer librarians and library users. Access the guide in several different formats here.

For building more diverse, representative and inclusive library collections:

  • ‘One student said to me recently “I love these books as I can see myself in them”, and I feel this authentic feedback helps validate the approach I’ve been taking…’ school librarian Stephen Leitch shared this brilliant blog with SLG Scotland about the creation and promotion of his LGBT+ book collection. Find Stephen’s invaluable advice and great recommended readings here.
  • This extensive book list by Schools Out includes titles that address the importance of creating LGBTQ+ friendly cultures in schools, as well as books for children and young people themselves.
  • The Scottish Book Trust has compiled this fantastic recommendation list of LGBTQ+ books for teenagers: encompassing both fiction and non-fiction, the list includes themes like self-acceptance, asexuality, unsung icons of queer history and much more.
  • The picture books on this Scottish Book Trust list are for younger children, helping them to learn how loving families come in all shapes and sizes, and hopefully see their own experiences represented in literature too.
  • TIE (Time for Inclusive Education) is an award-winning charity promoting inclusive LGBTQ+ education in schools (we especially love their rainbow tie logo!) Visit their website for some great resources including a ‘What is Discrimination?’ e-resource for young people, the ‘Icons’ booklet introducing key figures in LGBTQ+ life past and present, and ‘If you’re LGBT, you can talk to me’ posters that you can display in your library.
  • The Scottish Government has also recently launched a new platform for teachers to access curriculum resources and professional learning, linked to Scotland’s Curriculum, to support the implementation of LGBT Inclusive Education. The platform was built and is managed by TIE – find it here.
  • Keen to tackle gender stereotypes in your library’s collection for young readers? The G-Book project is an exceptional collaboration across six European partners that brings together books for children which challenge restrictive gender stereotypes (such as girls being sweet, submissive, and passive while boys are brave and rebellious, or mothers staying home from adventures while fathers go out to work or explore). Search the full bibliography by title, author or thematic content like ‘body’, ‘family’, ‘feelings and emotions’ and ‘famous personalities’.
  • ‘Knowledge of your audience is key, however the distillation of messy, mutable, overlapping, and intersecting characteristics into something that is comprehensible risks erasing individuals in most need of help.’ As libraries grow increasingly aware of the pressing need to create genuinely diverse and representative services, is there a risk that the ‘exclusionary tendencies of categorisation’ may do more harm than good? Read this fascinating article by Dr Kevin Guyan in The International Journal of Information, Diversity, & Inclusion for more.
  • Book 28 director and founder Isadore Auerbach George reflects here on best practice in collections development from a LGBTQ+ perspective (Isadore also kindly contributed this insightful blog to our recent campaign on why #LibrariesAreEssential to LGBTQ+ communities).
  • These books for adult readers offer a great introduction for anyone wanting to learn more about LGBTQ+ history and would make excellent additions to any library catalogue. Have you ever read about Flora Murray and Louisa Garret Anderson, who set up a trailblazing WWI military hospital, or ‘The Unlikely True Story’ of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM)?
  • Glasgow Women’s Library is home to The Lesbian Archive and also offers this LGBTQ Online Collections Resource where you can discover some fascinating insights into the often hidden queer histories and herstories of our nation.
  • Lavender Menace was the first lesbian and gay bookshop in Scotland and the Lavender Menace Queer Bookshop Archive is creating a comprehensive database of LGBTQ+ books, as well as facilitating talks, workshops and more to promote LGBTQ+ writing. Visit their website to find out more about their ground-breaking history, volunteer your skills in developing the archive our watch this video of their wonderful event as part of CILIP LGBTQ+ Network’s ‘Festival of Pride and Knowledge’ (in collaboration with CILIPS and CILIPS SNPC).
  • After attending a Trans Awareness Workshop with the Scottish Trans Alliance (thank you to Literature Alliance Scotland for facilitating) we encountered this Good Reads list of brilliant books written by trans authors and/or addressing themes relevant to the experiences of trans people around the world.
  • Who are the queer women poets who have been forgotten by history? CILIPS joined forces with the Scottish Poetry Library to celebrate Pride Month 2021 with Verses and Violets: Taking Pride in Queer Women Poets, hosted by Kirsten MacQuarrie and chaired by Toni Velikova. This inclusive, informal conversation explored our queer pasts, presents and futures, as well as the power of poetry to tell the tales of the women who exist between the lines. To learn more or recommend queer women poets you think the world should know about, get in touch!


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