Motherboard Report: “Libraries Are Becoming a Battleground For LGBTQ+ People”
There has been a swift escalation of LGBTQ-related attacks on libraries in recent months, turning typically quiet public spaces into political battlegrounds at a time of growing hostility against queer and trans people. Over the past two weeks alone, members of the Proud Boys have disrupted Pride-themed events hosted at libraries in North Carolina, Indiana, Texas, Nevada, and California, provoked by far-right social media accounts like LibsOfTikTok that post the events’ locations for their hundreds of thousands of followers.
Across the country, advocacy groups and individual community members are sticking their necks out for their local libraries with some success. In Texas, a community successfully kept the group from disrupting the event, as reported by Buzzfeed News. A similar event in California last week was able to continue after local police de-escalated the situation. But in other states protesting these events, the far-right group is driving advocates to use library spaces to take shelter from protesters with guns.
The conflict comes amidst a wave of efforts to ban books on racial and LGBTQ+ topics from school libraries and bookstores across the US. Motherboard has previously reported on the groups trying to have LGBTQ+ books removed from school libraries, and administrators exercising their power to sway school board votes on book bans.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.