The aims and objectives
This project aims to contribute to greater visibility and integration of queer communities within libraries. Practically, through this project, for the first time, in an organized way, through the procurement of appropriate literature, the queer communities within the National and University Library are involved. Some of the purchased books will be exhibited in the library hall. With this, National and University Library “St. Clement of Ohrid” shows that a library is open for the marginalized, vulnerable and less visible communities in our society.
In the period from October 15 to December 15, I researched the extent to which the fund of the National and University Library has publications that refer to the LGBT + population. Also, during this period I researched whether there are publications in the libraries in North Macedonia that refer to the LGBT + population and how much such literature is present in some libraries from the neighbouring countries with a focus on the National Library in Belgrade which I visited with my project collaborators. In the next period (until the end of January) I prepared a questionnaire which I sent to the relevant organizations dealing with LGBT + issues. After receiving the results of the questionnaire, I proceeded to selection of publications to be procured. I made selection of publications and orders during the month of March. The months of April and May were followed by the design and organization of the event “Libraries as a space for queer communities”.
The realization of this project contributed for the first time in the Macedonian librarianship to talk about the LGBT + population. The project was well promoted by the Library and the participants in the project so we are sure that our colleagues and the public were informed about this topic. With this, the project paved the way for further research in this field. Of particular importance is the opportunity offered by this project to sensitize the staff of the National and University Library with the issue of the LGBT + population and libraries as an important place for this population. Although the publications that we have purchased and that we plan to purchase with the funds that will be allocated to us do not completely fill the gaps in the collections, we still hope that they will be a motive to continue to procure publications with such content. The lecture that was given explained how libraries around the world integrate queer communities and promote the culture of this community. We hope that these examples will be an incentive for our library to follow them.
All the activities we undertook within this project had their impact in terms of greater visibility of the LGBT + population in the library, but also in Macedonian society. Considering the fact that Macedonian society is not tolerant toward this community, all activities were important for greater public awareness. From the very beginning, we promoted the project with an intensified pace on social networks, which was met with a very positive impression by a part of the public that is progressive. The purchased books and their promotion contributed in terms that libraries should consider purchasing publications related to the LGBT + population, that the collections are not complete without the presence of this population in them. The lecture “Libraries as Space for Queer Communities” and the publication of the lecture on social networks tried to explain the fundamental aspects of the integration of LGBT + communities within libraries. I can freely say that all the activities we undertook within this project were of exceptional importance for LGBT + people, but also for our institution that implements this project.