By Katherine Hughes, with contributions from Clare McCluskey-Dean and Thomas Peach (Academic Liaison Librarians at YSJ)
Library & Learning Services are holding a book display in Fountains Learning Centre during Week 4 (17th-21st February) to celebrate LGBTQI+ History Month. There is also a display throughout the month of February of LGBTQI+ children’s books in our Schools Library on the First Floor.
This is just one of many displays held in the library throughout the year to highlight diversity in our collections. During the past year we have held displays to mark Trans Day of Visibility (March 2019), Black History Month (October 2019) and York International Disabled People Week (December 2019). These displays increase visibility of texts by members of marginalised groups and contribute to making the university a more welcoming and inclusive place. However, they are just a small part of a much wider effort to diversify our library collection.
In Autumn 2019 the Library launched our I AMplify project, which aims to lift the voices of marginalised peoples and communities in our library and our curricula. Our Academic Liaison Librarians, in collaboration with academic staff, make a conscious effort to purchase texts centring the experiences of different marginalised groups. We have brought these texts together in our I AMplify resource lists; just some of the lists included are the list of LGBTQI+ centred/inclusive resources compiled for LGBTQI+ History Month, and lists of Literature and Fiction by LGBTQI+ Writers, Black Writers and Disabled Writers. We hope these lists will provide a
starting point for a wider effort to teach more diverse texts and voices at York St John, as well as provide a resource for individual students’ and staff’s research. And, of course, the fiction lists can also be used as a source of leisure reading, whether you’re hoping to find more texts that reflect your own experience, or broaden your knowledge of a world beyond your own.
English Literature staff have already done a lot of fantastic work including texts by diverse writers on the course, and staff have provided some great suggestions for the Literature and Fiction reading lists above. However we welcome further suggestions from students. These can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, you can fill in an suggestion card (available from the display next week), or if you’d prefer to remain anonymous, you can make suggestions via our I Amplify Padlet.
If you would like to know more about diversifying library collections, these resources expand on the subject.