Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Out Behind the Desk: Workplace Issues for LGBTQ Librarians

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Out Behind the Desk: Workplace Issues for LGBTQ Librarians

Article excerpt

Out Behind the Desk: Workplace Issues for LGBTQ Librarians. Ed. by Tracy Marie Nectoux. Duluth, Minn.: Litwin Books, 2011. 294 p. Paper $30 (ISBN: 978-1-936117-03-1).

In or out, or somewhere in between? Librarians, like all professionals, are always engaged in seeking an artful balance between self and profession. Whatever identities we claim, the insightful stories in Out Behind the Desk, contributed by many kinds of librarians with many kinds of sexual identities, make inspiring and thought-provoking reading for anyone who is in the process of being both a human and a librarian. In the words of the editor, Tracy Marie Nectoux, "Every librarian in Out Behind the Desk has faced an option between self-expression and self-censorhip, self-integrity and self-preservation, and they have generously shared the decisions they made here" (6). These stories are intrinsically powerful, and their value doubles when we consider the ways they create pathways for the librarians of the future.

Out Behind the Desk is not the first work to address gay, lesbian, and transgender librarians and their experiences. In her introduction, Nectoux cites Norman Kester's Liberating Minds and James Carmichaels's groundbreaking Daring to Find Our Names. At the same time that she acknowledges the value and significance of these works, Nectoux notes that it has been more than ten years since their publication, making it "time to check out the landscape and assess our progress" (1), a task that this work accomplishes admirably. …

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