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Carroll, Queen's Square | June 26, 2017

How to find YA LGBTQ+ Books in the Library?

If you have ever struggled to find teen books that reflect the LGBTQ+ experience in the library, you are not alone. Too often, LGBTQ+ characters are not readily apparent in the book’s summary, nor are they visible in the subject headings used to catalogue the book. So how then, does one go about locating young adult LGBTQ+ fiction at the library? Well, we’ve found a way to make it easier to search for these books by tagging them. 

If you have never heard of community tagging, it’s a pretty neat feature of Idea Exchange’s library catalogue, Encore. Tagging enables us to create book lists of titles that we want to group together, such as reading lists, award winners, staff picks, etc. Tagging is a great way for creating groupings that would not normally be part of a catalogue record. Tags work a whole lot like regular keyword searches, but with more specific results.

The idea for creating a tag to simplify finding YA LGBTQ+ materials was born in early May when it became apparent that these books were not easy to find in the collection, as well as the recognition that teens need a safe space to browse without being outed. Coupled with the fact that LGBTQ+ teens were increasingly asking for materials in which they could see themselves and their stories reflected (not just coming-out stories, but stories that reflect their lives and mirror their own questions and concerns), the need for compiling a list of titles became obvious. The tagged list of titles affords the opportunity to browse the list and see where the materials are located in a safe and discreet manner, if privacy is a concern.

To find Idea Exchange’s list of LGBTQ+ materials for young adults simply type YA LGBTQ+ into the catalogue. To date the list of tagged titles stand at 125 items and counting. This is a list that we want to keep growing, so if you know of a title in the catalogue that we have missed tagging make sure to tell us in the comments below!