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 external resources that we hope will be helpful in supporting LGBTQ+ library staff members, enriching the representativeness of library collections, and ensuring that our libraries continue to be inclusive spaces for everyone.

All of the links contained in our evolving collections are aimed at providing a diverse selection of relevant resources for further reading and consideration. It is ultimately the responsibility of our members and their organisations to make decisions on their professional practice, based on a wide range of information and underpinned at all times by the CILIP Ethical Framework. We also note that the content of external links may be subject to change without our knowledge, and we encourage our members to please let us know if this ever appears to be the case.

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

Collection last updated January 2024.

The CILIP Scotland Collection:

  • ‘I would rather give a healthy child a vial of acid than this novel. Poison kills the body, but moral poison kills the soul…’
  • ‘We cannot endanger the faith of pupils by presenting as good something which is condemned… such a blatant promotion of the LGBTQ+ ‘lifestyle’ is tantamount to child abuse…’
  • These statements were made almost exactly a century apart but articulate with uncanny similarity the dramatic, ever-escalating emotive rhetoric that often characterises literary censorship. In both of these cases, the controversy centred on whether or not young LGBTQ+ people should be able to see themselves on the page. For Banned Books Week, we came together to join our sector’s worldwide collective action against the threat of censorship: making the most of our skills, experience and professionalism to fight for intellectual freedom.

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+. Find information about the Network’s activities or follow them on social media.
  • LGBT Health and Wellbeing is Scotland’s health and wellbeing charity for LGBTQ+ adults. Discover their work to improve physical, social, and mental wellbeing, including through an extensive and accessible programme of events.
  • 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.
  • 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 and share stories, or invite members of your library community to join in.
  • 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 and the law regarding Trans Equality.
  • 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 fantastic tips for library inclusivity, whatever your sector, including training ideas for staff and suggestions for resource collections.
  • This Stonewall glossary is an easy-to-read introduction to key terms related to LGBTQ+ life. Stonewall’s website also features several 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’).
  • The Homosaurus (love the name!) offers an international linked data vocabulary for LGBTQ+ terms.
  • 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 prejudice and why it remains so important to maintain inclusive, welcoming spaces in our libraries today.
  • TUC have created this guide to being a good trans ally, helping you ensure that trans colleagues and library users feel safe, supported and included in your workplace.

For building representative library collections:

  • School and youth librarians, Scottish Book Trust has compiled this fantastic recommendation list of LGBTQ+ books for teenagers: encompassing both fiction and non-fiction, the list includes themes of self-acceptance, asexuality, unsung icons of queer history and 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.
  • 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)?
  • TIE (Time for Inclusive Education) is an award-winning charity promoting inclusive LGBTQ+ education in schools who delivered a thought-provoking parallel session at our 2022 Annual Conference. Visit their website for great resources including ‘What is Discrimination?’ 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 to display in your library.
  • The Scottish Government 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 collections? 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 alone 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’.
  • The Queer Metadata Collective is a group of cataloguers, librarians, archivists, scholars, museum and information professionals with an interest in improving the description and classification of queer people in information systems. Learn more and sign up for updates.
  • ‘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.
  • 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 hidden queer herstories of Scotland.
  • 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).
  • Who are the queer women poets who have been forgotten by history? CILIPS joined forces with the Scottish Poetry Library to celebrate Pride Month with Verses and Violets: Taking Pride in Queer Women Poets, written by Membership Officer Kirsten MacQuarrie and chaired by Trustee Toni Velikova. The event explored queer pasts, presents and futures, plus the power of poetry to tell the tales of 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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