A new collection of books about the LGBTQ+ experience is now among the offerings at the UConn Health Sciences Library.
“We hope that this collection can be used to inform and inspire, and we plan on having some programs based on this collection in the fall,” says research support librarian Marissa Iverson. “We hope this new collection demonstrates that the UConn Health Sciences Library is for everyone, and that we support our LGBTQ+ community.”
Iverson is one of the three UConn Health Science Library librarians who worked to secure a Collection Equity Award from the National Library of Medicine, which is part of the National Institutes of Health. The $2,000 grant is for projects that amply diverse voices.
“Some of the largest culturally generated health disparities exist within the LGBTQ+ community,” says library director Susan Fowler. “These include suicide, homelessness, and access to health care among others. Literature is one of the best ways to help our students, faculty, and staff better understand and relate to others. The UConn Health Sciences Library’s new LGBTQ+ collection supports UConn Health in providing equitable and inclusive care to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning+ members of our community.”
The collection of more than 60 books includes including memoirs, graphic novels, history books, resource guides, and training materials for physicians on treating diverse patients.
“With so many LGBTQ+ books being challenged and banned across the country, we wanted to build a collection focused on the LGBTQ+ community and make sure that their voices aren’t silenced,” says Teri Shiel, head of user services and the librarian who oversees the Hartford Medical Society’s collection, also housed in the UConn Health Sciences Library. “Historically, libraries have always been places where information is provided and access is protected. We see this collection as a way to give a voice to a marginalized community.”