Pride Week: Libraries Safe Places for All Readers

Children at a previous Los Alamos Pride Festival enjoy storytime with librarian Melissa Mackey. Photo by Terra Hite

Friends of Los Alamos Pride

In celebration of Los Alamos Pride Week, the county’s library system will highlight LBGTQ+ authors in its collection, and offer both in-person programming and social media events. 

The library actively purchases and includes LGBTQ+ authors and materials in the library collection, and features diversity of authorship year-round, not just during Pride celebrations, said Community Engagement Librarian Felicity Fonseca.

“The library strives to be a safe, welcoming, and inclusive intellectual and physical space for LGBTQ+ children, youth, teens, and adults,” Fonseca said. “Pride Week is an opportunity to celebrate and affirm the LGBTQ+ community and for allies to actively engage in supporting the LGBTQ+ community.”

Fonseca added that it is important to library staff that the collection serves an “inclusive and diverse definition” of community.

“LGBTQ+ literature provides LGBTQ+ people the opportunity to see and recognize ourselves through time and place,” Fonseca said. “It provides LGBTQ+ people with the language and frameworks to articulate our experience.  LGBTQ+ literature also educates everyone on the diverse possibilities of LGBTQ+ experience, builds empathy through connection with characters, and a lot of it is just great reading.”

The Youth Services Department of the library will host an in-person outdoor storytime featuring books by LGBTQ+ authors at Mesa Public Library at 10 a.m. Thursday, June 10. While the storytime is best for ages 3-6, all are welcome.  

Los Alamos Public Library System also invites everyone to Read Books With Pride, a night of 

LGBTQ+ literature at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 10.  

Via social media, library staff will announce a “Pride Pick of the Day” Monday through Saturday, June 7-12, in which staff recommends queer titles they love in a particular collection or genre. Fonseca said there will be recommended titles for both youth and adults.  

From June 6- 10, Los Alamos Public Libraries invites anyone of any age to text 505-500-4406 with the name of their favorite queer character in literature. Friday, staff will draw one winner from all the entries and make a word cloud with the character names to share on social media. 

The random winner will receive a free copy of We Are Everywhere: Protest, Power, and Pride in the History of Queer Liberation. Winner will be notified via text message and must be able to pick up the prize at either local library. 

While June as a month of Pride celebrations has its roots in the Stonewall Uprising of 1969, PRIDE as an acronym refers to both a group of 1960s radical gay political activists promoting Personal Rights in Defense and Education and the statement Promote Respect, Inclusion, and Dignity for Everyone.

“Respect, Inclusion, and Dignity for Everyone are core library values,” Fonseca said, “and PRIDE as a celebration is an opportunity for the library to be an active ally to the LGBTQ+ community, to feature parts of the library collection, and by doing so, to contribute to education around LGBTQ+ issues.”