Sunday, 22 September 2013

Sunday September 22 A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

I've been reflecting recently on the profound truth of this simple saying. We are all experts of everything these days – a quick Internet search makes it easy to feel well-informed. However, a superficial understanding that leads to false conclusions is oftentimes worse than no understanding at all. Where can one find the information to remedy this perilous state of mind? At the public library! TBPL has an incredible wealth of resources on a multitude of topics and the expert staff to help you on the journey to a more informed perspective. Following is a list of some materials available at TBPL on one specific topic. As the youth librarian, I've focused on resources aimed at a youth audience, but each of these items is also a great choice for adults embarking on a quest for knowledge.

Feeling Wrong in Your Own Body: understanding what it means to be transgendered is an essential resource from the Gallup's Guide to Modern Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Life series. Each of the titles from this extremely well-reviewed series provide answers to the questions LGBTQ teens are asking themselves while also acting as a window into the challenges faced by this community. Smashing the Stereotypes: what does it mean to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered; Being Gay, Staying Healthy; and Gay Believers: Homosexuality and Religion are also available.

GLBTQ: the survival guide for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning teens by Kelly Huegel and Queer: the ultimate guide for teens by Kathy Belge and Marke Bieschke include loads of information, practical advice, and suggestions of further resources.

Author and advice columnist Dan Savage and his partner Terry Miller created the It Gets Better Project in response to a number of queer youth taking their own lives after being bullied in school. The project has a twofold goal: communicating to LGTB teens around the world that it gets better and to create and inspire the changes needed to make it better for them. The companion non-fiction book of the same name includes essays and testimonials intended to show LGBT youth the kind of happiness, potential, and satisfaction their lives can hold.

The Letter Q: queer writers’ notes to their younger selves is an anthology edited by Sarah Moon. Over sixty queer authors tell their younger selves what they would have liked to know then about their lives as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual or Transgendered people in a text that BookList describes in a starred review as "lovely, often funny, and always heartfelt."

In addition to these and other nonfiction resources, the library has an ever-expanding collection of LGBTQ fiction. Find classics like Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan as well as new and exciting titles like Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills about an aspiring disc jockey boy named Gabe who was born in a girl's body and Benjamin Alire Saenz's recent book Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, winner of the Printz Honor Award, Stonewall Book Award, Lambda Literary Award and a YALSA best fiction for Young Adults pick. There are also some great graphic novels worth checking out, like Drama by Raina Telgemeier and a + e 4ever by I. Merey. Visit Read This Next for more queer fiction reading suggestions.

TBPL is ready to help you start on your journey from the treacherous state of possessing just “a little knowledge.” Visit us to learn more!

Laura Prinselaar

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