How to Build LGBTQIA+ Inclusive Libraries

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




Course Description 

Guest speaker sessions via Zoom:
Thursdays, Nov. 30, Dec. 7, and 14, 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. 

Now more than ever, LGBTQIA+ people are being targeted by bigoted laws and policies, which is requiring libraries to strengthen their advocacy practices. Research shows that programs, partnerships, practices, and curricula that center queer and trans 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 LGBTQIA-centered programs and instruction alongside strategies for building connections with your local queer community. You will leave with tangible practices to add to your advocacy toolkit and have the opportunity to find solidarity and build meaningful relationships with other librarians.

In the workshop, you'll complete 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.

The live sessions run on Thursdays, November 30, December 7, and 14, 2023 from 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, 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
  • 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 

This course is best suited for librarians who lead or assist with programs and services. This course will primarily be geared toward public libraries, but there will be crossover for K12 and academic librarians as well. 

This course is for you if you need support learning how to center LGBTQIA+ people in their programs, instruction, and services; and who would advocate for the inclusion of LGBTQIA+ materials and topics; build and maintain partnerships within the queer community; and use queer methods to reimagine best practices for the library.  

This course is appropriate for all levels of library staff. 

Expected time commitment: 

If you attend or watch the recordings of all live sessions and participate fully in the asynchronous workshop, you'll spend approximately 3-4 hours per week on this course. You'll earn 15 hours of PD credit and a Library Journal certificate of completion. 

Live sessions are also available on demand for six months

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

Certificate of completion provided 

15 professional development credit hours

For support with online courses, please contact


All guest speaker sessions feature live captioning and are made available on demand after the initial broadcast. Please email upon registration if you require any special accommodations and we will make our best efforts to facilitate them.


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

Dr. Jennifer Tullos

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! 




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: Centering LGBTQIA+ people in programs, instruction, and partnerships

Thursday, November 30, 2023

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 practices. 



Jacob McWilliams, (He/Him) Learning and Development Manager at Jefferson Center for Mental Health                                    








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 Practice

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) Assistant Chief, Music Division, Library of Congress





Week 2: LGBTQIA+ affirming resources and advocacy strategies

Thursday, December 7, 2023

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.


Dre Ceja, International Transgender Affirming Trainer and Consultant







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

Including Queer Youth: How to Build an LGBTQIA+ Youth Advisory Board

Libraries can provide support and a welcoming place for LGBTQIA+ young people who are being attacked by many local and state policies. The best way to support queer youth is to invite their perspective into what they need from library spaces and programs. This session will teach you how to create, run, and maintain an LGBTQIA+ youth advisory board. You will learn strategies for building infrastructure for the group, recruiting young people to join, and creating a scope and sequence to enact the group’s purpose. 


Sara Kukkonen (she,they) Community Outreach Educator for Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai'i, Alaska, Indiana Kentucky




Week 3: Queer theories, perspectives, and advocacy

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Session 1 | 2:00-2:45 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







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 | 3:00-4:00 pm ET

Queer as Verb: Reading Queerly as Advocacy and Inclusion

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


Research and gather data


Identify goals and priorities


Create plan of action




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
  • Conduct an equity assessment on your organization  with guidance from an expert advisor
  • Leave with refined, robust strategies designed to make a lasting impact on your community
  • Workshop tangible conflict resolution and difficult feedback conversations 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

Early Access and Ongoing 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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