How to Build LGBTQIA+ Centered Spaces, Programs, and Services

Create a more equitable and affirming space for everyone by learning how to build LGBTQIA+ centered programs and practices




Extend your learning and save more by pairing this course with its companion course, Tools and Strategies for Managing Frontline Challenges—starting Oct. 20. View bundle discounts registration.


Course Description 

Guest speaker sessions via Zoom:
Thursdays, November 10, 17, and December 1, from 2:00 to 4:30 pm ET (recordings available)

Asynchronous, facilitator-led workshop over 3 weeks

Create a more equitable and affirming space for everyone by learning the unique needs, challenges, and opportunities of the LGBTQIA+ community. 

Research shows that programs, partnerships, practices, and curricula that center LGBTQIA+ people benefit heterosexual and cisgender people, too. This course will teach you how to navigate difficult conversations and advocate for LGBTQIA+ people, books, and programs, even and especially in the face of censorship challenges. You will also learn how to develop robust LGBTQ-centered programs and instruction alongside strategies for building connections with your local queer community.

You’ll complete workshop assignments over 3+ weeks in an interactive online classroom environment with personal coaching from an expert in the field. In addition, you’ll have access to our foundational bonus content—rich supporting materials you can explore at your own pace, including a series of webinars from Library Journal and School Library Journal contributors, readings, activities, and videos.


Jacob McWilliams (he, him)
Learning Program Specialist, Denver Public Library

Nicholas Brown (he, him)
COO, Communication and Outreach

Astro Pittman (they, them)
2SLGBTQ2IA+ Specialist

Dr. Jennifer Tullos (she, her)
Online Course Director, Library Journal & School Library Journal

Check out the program tab for the full speaker roster.


Our transformational online courses have given thousands of librarians the tools and vision for meaningful change. The live sessions run on Thursdays, November 10, 17, and December 1, 2022 from approximately 2:00-4:30 pm ET (recorded for on-demand viewing) with an ongoing facilitator-led workshop over 3 weeks. Don’t miss this opportunity!




When you sign up early, you’ll have immediate access to our Early Access On Demand Resources—a series of webinars from Library Journal and School Library Journal contributors along with rich, supporting materials in the form of readings, activities, and videos—to explore at your own pace.

Learning Outcomes

After you attend this interactive online course and workshop, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand and implement the differences between inclusive and affirming programs

  • Make yourself visible as an LGBTQIA+ advocate and ally

  • Establish queer affirming outreach programs and practices 

  • Build and maintain authentic, non-transactional relationships with LGBTQIA+ communities and organizations 

  • Create trans and gender nonconforming programs, spaces, and services

  • Advocate for LGBTQIA+ representation in materials and services

  • Manage censorship challenges that might arise in your library or classroom

  • Understand the tenets of queer theory and how it can be applied to your everyday work

  • Reimagine and revise your programs and services from a queer perspective to better serve your entire communities


Who should take this course

Any educator or librarian who wants to center LGBTQIA+ people in their programs, instruction, and services and who would benefit from a deep dive into advocating for the inclusion of LGBTQIA+ materials and topics, building and maintaining partnerships within the queer community, and using queer methods to reimagine best practices for the classroom and library. 

Live sessions are also available on demand 

Can’t make a live session? All guest speaker sessions are recorded and available on demand following the initial broadcast. Asynchronous workshops allow you to complete assignments and receive feedback from experts.

Certificate of completion provided 

15 professional development credits are available

For support with online courses, please contact


Group Rates

Have a team attend and increase your impact!

Discounted registration fees are available for groups of 3 or more. When you register your team for our online courses, they will be placed in the same small workshop group, where discussions and project-based assignments receive feedback from an experienced librarian.

Send us a request for a quote.

If your group prefers to work separately, just let us know.


Curriculum Advisor


Jennifer Tullos, Ph.D.

Dr. Jennifer Tullos (she/her) is a content developer, researcher, and educator in English and the Humanities working to advocate for equity-centered programs and practices. She holds a PhD in English from Illinois State University with an emphasis in queer young adult literature, queer theory, and pedagogy and currently serves as the Director of Online Courses for Library Journal and School Library Journal. Dr. Tullos has over 13 years of experience teaching and developing curricula in educational, nonprofit, and corporate contexts. As a queer scholar and educator, she strives to bring queer pedagogical and theoretical tenets into her everyday life and loves helping others queer their classrooms, work cultures, reading practices, and more! 



Rebecca Oxley 

Rebecca Oxley (she/they) is the Librarian III of the Greenbelt Branch of the Prince George’s Memorial Library System in Maryland. She earned her MLS from the University of Maryland as an Information in Diverse Populations Scholar in 2012, and taught in Prince George’s County Public Schools as a Media Specialist and Technology educator prior to becoming a public librarian. They are the author of several peer-reviewed journal and practitioner magazine articles. They serve on PGCMLS’s LGBTQ+, Teen Services, and Digital Navigation teams, the Maryland Library Association’s newly created LGBTQ+ Interest Group, and is on the executive board of The LGBTQ Dignity Project. She specializes in graphic literature, and is an active founding committee member of the Black Eyed Susan Book Award for Graphic Novels.



By registering for this event you confirm that you have read and agree to our Code of Conduct.

For support with online courses, please contact





Week 1: Learning how to center LGBTQIA+ people in programs, instruction, and partnerships 

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Session 1 | 2:00-2:45 pm ET

Inclusive and Affirming: How to Create LGBTQIA+ Centered Programs and Instruction

Take the next step in making your library or classroom more LGBTQIA+ friendly by learning how to create programs and use facilitation techniques that center and affirm queer folks. You’ll hear from experts about successful programs they’ve run and leave with tangible ideas for bringing a queer perspective to your programs and instructional practicies. 


 Jacob McWilliams, (He/Him) Learning Program Specialist, Denver Public Library


Workshop Q&A | 2:45-3:00 pm ET

An introduction to this week’s assignment and an overview of what to expect from the online workshop in this course


Session 2 | 3:00-3:45 pm ET

How to Build and Maintain LGBTQIA+ Community Partnerships and Outreach Practices

The best LGBTQIA+ programs and services are created, influenced, and impacted by LGBTQIA+ people. This session will take a deep dive into community outreach and relationship building with your local queer community. Hear from experts about practical ways to get plugged into the community and build lasting relationships. 


Nicholas Brown, (He/Him) Chief Operating Officer for Communication and Outreach at Prince George's County Memorial Library System


Optional Session 3 | 3:45-4:30 pm ET

Queer Bootcamp: Intro to LGBTQIA+ Terms, Issues, and History

We’re all starting this journey in different places, and that’s okay! This optional session is for you if you need help discerning old and new LGBTQIA+ terminology, if you want to understand the history of LGBTQIA+ people in the US, if you need help with pronoun practice or responding to microaggressions, or if you just want all of your intro-level queer questions answered without judgement! This session will be a mix of rapid-fire history and terminology and informal Q&A to ensure you’re comfortable and confident in your ability to understand the context of and language for LGBTQIA+ people and issues.


Shambricia Spencer, (she, her) Director of Equity & Culture, Planned Parenthood Federation of America


Week 2: LGBTQIA+ affirming resources and advocacy strategies

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Session 1 | 2:00-2:45 pm ET

Trans and Gender Nonconforming Affirming Library and Classroom Space

Trans and gender diverse people are part of every aspect of libraries and classrooms, from patrons to employees to students to volunteers. However, ignorance and bigotry around gender diversity remains prevalent, which means that library workers and educators need to take intentional steps to create welcoming spaces for people of all genders. In this session, you will start by learning about why gender inclusion is an essential component of all library and education work, followed by specific examples of gender inclusion from many different aspects of libraries/classrooms. Finally, you will be guided through tools and resources that will enable you to continue your education and meaningfully incorporate gender inclusion into your own position.


Astro Pittman, (they/them) 2SLGBTQ2IA+ Specialist


Workshop Q&A | 2:45-3:00 pm ET

An introduction to this week’s assignment and an overview of what to expect from the online workshop in this course


Session 2 | 3:00-3:45 pm ET

Creating Systemic Support: Tools and Strategies for LGBTQIA+ Advocacy

This session will teach you tangible ways to advocate for yourself and others in the face of LGBTQIA+ specific censorship and other discriminatory challenges. You will learn why it’s crucial to maintain alliance with LGBTQIA+ people and content, as well as ways to deescalate conflict and counter common arguments. You’ll learn how to make yourself visible as an ally and/or how to promote and protect yourself as a queer person at work. You’ll also learn how to audit and revise your current policies and procedures to create systems of support within your library or classroom. Finally, you’ll leave this session equipped with resources for LGBTQIA+ centered legal and healthcare services so that you’re prepared to support your queer community members in a range of needs.


Hal Patnott, Rainbow Services Librarian 


Optional Session 3 | 3:45-4:30 pm ET

Apply Your Learning: Live, Interactive, Expert-Led Workshop

This live working session will give you an immediate opportunity to apply the skills you’ve learned in the previous sessions. You will be put into small, peer groups and given relevant assignments and activities to work through together. Expert facilitators will also be available for live Q&A and feedback. 


Astro Pittman, (they/them) 2SLGBTQ2IA+ Specialist


Week 3: Queer theories, perspectives, and tools to transform your work practices

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Session 1 | 2:00-3:00 pm ET

Queer as Verb, Part 1: Using Queer Theory to Reimagine Your Library Work 

More than a gender identity or sexual orientation, the word “queer” can also be used as a verb: to queer. In this session, you will also learn the foundations of how to apply a queer perspective and framework to all aspects of your work, from your programs to policies to reading and instructional practices and more. You will leave with exciting new ideas for using a queer framework to reimagine the perspective from which you approach your work.


Dr. Jennifer Tullos, (she/her) Online Course Director, Library Journal & School Library Journal 


Workshop Q&A | 3:00-3:15 pm ET

An introduction to this week’s assignment and an overview of what to expect from the online workshop in this course


Session 2 | 3:15-4:00 pm ET

Queer as Verb, Part 2: Reading Queerly and Other Practical Applications

Building from the last session, this session will take a deep dive into specific examples of how a queer perspective can influence your library or classroom. You will learn what it is to “read queerly,” and how this practice can be especially tenable in communities with strong censorship challenges. You will also learn methods for “teaching queerly”: simple instructional shifts that can have a large impact on all learners. You will leave with even more tools to add to your toolkit for advocating LGBTQIA+ inclusion in your classroom and library. 


Dr. Jill Hermann-Wilmarth, (She, Her, Hers) Professor of Socio-Cultural Studies in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Educational Studies, with a joint appointment as professor of Gender and Women's Studies at Western Michigan University

Dr. Caitlin L. Ryan, (She, Her, Hers)  Associate Professor of Literacy Education, University of North Carolina Wilmington






Online Course Preview

A preview of how we build your library skills and bring inspiration to your projects with our online learning experience.

Course Format

One-Week Timeline (Course Runs 3+ Weeks)

DAYS 1-2

On Demand


2.5 hours

DAYS 4-7

1-2 hours (optional)



- Resources

- Discussions

- Bonus Content


- Guest speakers via webcast

- Q&A via chat

- Recordings available on demand


- Project-based homework, applied to your job

- Personalized feedback from a facilitator

- Group discussion in an asynchronous workshop setting via discussion forum


- Facilitator-led feedback


Gather data and set goals


Identify gaps and priorities


Synthesize your action plan




Inspiring Live Guest Speakers + Facilitated Group Workshop for Project-Based Learning



Live session with Andrea Blackman and Tasneem Ansariyah Grace

Live Guest Speakers Each Week

  • Engage with presenters via live video stream, visual presentations, and chats
  • Map out your own initiatives with guidance from an expert advisor
  • Leave with refined, robust strategies designed to make a lasting impact on your community
  • Workshop tangible approaches to your work with input from peer groups


Online Course Features


Recordings of guest speakers

Recordings Available After The Live Session

  • Real-time guest speakers and conversation via live video stream (with recordings available afterward)
  • Instructor-led online course features personalized interaction over 3+ weeks


Facilitator-led workshop

Online Classroom Organizes All Materials

  • Workshop assignments to help you make progress on your goals
  • Individualized attention from course facilitators who work with you in a coaching environment in the workshop to help sort out challenges
  • Ongoing group conversation via discussion forums


Early Access On Demand Resources

Resources To Support Learning

  • Supporting resources (articles, videos, worksheets) in the online classroom to provide a foundation for your work
  • Access all course content for six months after the course ends
  • Bonus: Register early and get immediate access to archival video recordings from related courses and other bonus content




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