it is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.

The function, the very serious function of racism is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being. Somebody says you have no language and you spend twenty years proving that you do. Somebody says your head isn’t shaped properly so you have scientists working on the fact that it is. Somebody says you have no art, so you dredge that up. Somebody says you have no kingdoms, so you dredge that up. None of this is necessary. There will always be one more thing...🖤

Tony Morrison via Portland State Library Special Collections (35:57)

🎶 Try a little kindness… 🎶

With generous support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Chicago State University (CSU) is launching the Information Justice Institute (IJI) in collaboration with two very dedicated organizations, A Way In and Ex-Cons for Community and Social Change (ECCSC). Our goals include: establishing an institute dedicated to justice in the context of library services; collaboratively defining key issues, opportunities, and pathways; identifying target users and their needs; developing promising initial solutions; sharing details of our insights and approaches with other libraries and communities; and evaluating our progress. During the course of the project we will bring collaborators together to consider questions to build understanding and lead to addressing critical community needs.

While some of our initial plans for IJI have been derailed because of the pandemic, we are committed to considering options and developing impactful alternatives. Updates will be shared here as they emerge.

03.15.33 – 09.18.20 ♡ – May her memory be a revolution.

Love this stylish new logo from

These new videos of campus are also informative and fun!  

I was very pleased to be invited by Loida Garcia-Febo to contribute to a blog post for the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning Section (IFLA-CPDWL) in honor of Pride Month.

Loida to each library leader: Thank you for your service to our profession. If you could share a message with the library community during the Pride Month, what would it be? What resources would you share with the library community to celebrate Pride?

You can view the entire post here and/or read my response below:

Happy Pride 2020!

This is usually a joyous time. In a typical June, we gather together to celebrate our shared interests and achievements and enjoy each other’s company. We have much to celebrate – literature, legislation, legacies, and love. Love is foundational.

This year, as we approach the golden anniversary of the founding of the American Library Association’s Task Force on Gay Liberation, now the Rainbow Round Table – the nation’s first LGBTQIA+ professional organziation, we have adjusted our plans for pride in the face of a pandemic. Still, we connect and reflect. We find renewed strength in our queerness. Looking back, we recall fun times and fond memories mixed in with some uncertainties and pain. We are still here – reading, writing, speaking, listening, taking action. We recognize and we are grateful to those who have struggled and to those who continue to guide us towards equity and justice. We mourn those we have lost. While ours is not a single story, we share a common sense of optimism for our future. We look forward to continuing to work together across communities to overcome emergent and persistent challenges and to creating a more sustainable spectrum of existence.

Here is a sampling of fabulous e-resources of possible interest to the library community:

➤ The Arquives is an organization dedicated to celebrating, preserving, and collecting LGBTQIA+ stories and histories.

➤ Digital Transgender Archive is an online hub for digitized historical materials and information on archival holdings throughout the world.

➤ Excavating Black Queer Thought: A Pride Bibliography I and II are resources to illuminate the multiplicity of experiences existing within Black LGBTQIA+ life.

➤ Gerber/Hart Library and Archives collects, preserves, and makes accessible items related to LGBTQ history and culture.

➤ GLSEN is an organization that conducts extensive research to inform K-12 education and to ensure LGBTQIA+ students are supported and included.

➤ IFLA LGBTQ Users Special Interest Group is dedicated to sharing professional knowledge by offering opportunities to engage in discussion.

➤ The Kinsey Institute is a research hub on critical issues in sexuality and gender.

➤ Kumu Hina offers resources related to the story of a Native Hawaiian who is a proud māhū, (transgender woman) and respected kumu (teacher).

➤ Lambda Literary is an organization dedicated to LGBTQIA+ books and authors that offers programs and annual literary awards.

➤ Leather Archives and Museum is a community archives, library, and museum of Leather, kink, fetish, and BDSM history and culture.

➤ The Legacy Project collects, preserves, and educates about LGBTQIA+ contributions to world history and culture.

➤ Lesbian Herstory Archive offers the world’s largest collection of materials by and about lesbians and their communities.

➤ LGBT Books to Prisoners is a prison abolitionist project focused on sending books to incarcerated LGBTQ-identified people.

➤ Mariposas Sin Fronteras is a group seeking to end the systemic violence and abuse of LGBTQ people held in prison and immigration detention.

➤ Making Gay History provides LGBTQIA+ oral histories focused around civil rights.

➤ National AIDS Memorial offers dedicated space and services to gather, heal, hope, and remember.

➤ National Park Service LGBTQ Heritage shares stories and images celebrating LGBTQ histories across the United States.

➤ ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives features a large repository of LGBTQIA+ materials.

➤ Que(e)ry Librarians organzies events to encourage community among queer information professionals and their friends.

➤ The Queer Zine Archive Project (QZAP) is a free on-line searchable database of queer zines.

➤ Rainbow Book List / Over the Rainbow are annual bibliographies of quality books with significant and authentic LGBTQIA+ content from the American Library Association’s Rainbow Round Table.

➤ Rainbow Heritage Network is an organization committed to the recognition and preservation of sites, history, and heritage associated with sexual and gender minorities.

➤ Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence is a boastfully queer organization dedicated to community service, outreach, and exuberance.

➤ Stonewall Book Awards, sponsored by the American Library Association’s Rainbow Round Table, was the first and is the most enduring award for LGBTQIA+ books.

➤ Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection is an LGBTQIA+ archival repository with books, periodicals, grey literature, personal and organizational records, zines and pamphlets, artifacts and ephemera, and audiovisual materials housed at the University of Minnesota Libraries. It includes the Tretter Transgender Oral History Project, which makes available oral histories of gender transgression, broadly understood through a trans framework.

➤ Trevor Project is an organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention.

Also, be sure to connect with and support your local LGBTQIA+ community groups!!

A step in the right direction would be massive investments in education, drug treatment, health care, and job creation, and trauma support in the communities that have been devastated by the war on drugs and mass incarceration. – Michelle Alexander

Listen and learn; and/or read and reflect:



Chicago State University (CSU) celebrated the grand opening of its LGBTQ+ Resource Center on October 10th! ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

The Mission of the CSU LGBTQ+ Resource Center is to create a community that is welcoming, inclusive, and supportive of people of all sexualities and gender identities. We focus our efforts on advocacy, increasing education, access, retention, identity development, and community building for queer- and trans-spectrum people. 

Read more about this exciting story in the Illinois Eagle or visit the Center online.

Chicago State University (CSU) has deep historical roots in higher education. Founded in 1867 in Blue Island as an experimental teacher training school, CSU is the second oldest public university in Illinois. From its beginnings in a leaky railroad boxcar, CSU has transformed with the City of Chicago and surrounding areas. For over 150 years, changes have reflected an ongoing commitment to academic excellence and community service. Today, CSU is located on a picturesque urban campus of 161 wooded acres on Chicago’s south side. CSU currently serves a diverse blend of predominantly African American and Latinx students. It has evolved from a teacher training institution to a comprehensive university with modern facilities.

The CSU College of Education offers quality programs to prepare educational professionals. The College recognizes the importance of diverse populations who are intellectually and ethically informed with skills and knowledge to be capable leaders and creative thinkers. CSU began offering training for librarians in 1947. Today, the Department of Information Studies prepares future librarians, archivists, and other information professionals to work in a variety of settings.

On June 23, 2019, the American Library Association granted a certificate of accreditation for the CSU Master of Science in Library and Information Science degree program. Accreditation is achieved through a review process conducted by an external review panel of practitioners and academics to verify the program meets the Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies. Upon receiving this exciting news, CSU President Z. Scott, Esq. stated, “Our success is a testament to the hard work and commitment of our faculty, students, and staff in the College of Education.”

Library and Information Science students specialize in school libraries, including licensure and endorsement; archives and records management; academic libraries; or public libraries. Other information studies options focusing on humanistic, scientific, and technological approaches to inquiry are also available. Programs may be completed online.

For additional information, please visit:

brave spaces

LGBTQ @ CSU recently hosted LaSaia Wade, Executive Director of Brave Space Alliance, a Black-led, trans-led LGBTQ Center located on the South Side of Chicago designed to create and provide culturally competent community services. LaSaia led a lively session and challenged us to continue working to develop and promote affirming spaces – and enable understanding and growth around trans issues. 

All of us in the queer community (and beyond) owe much appreciation to the many brave trans folks, particularly TWOC, who have led and continue to lead the way for us across contexts.    

March 31 is the tenth anniversary of Trans Day of Visibility (TDoV).