Monday, April 17, 2017

Week 14 Prompt

Consider yourself part of the collection management committee of your local library, or a library at which you would like to work. You must decide whether or not to separate GBLTQ fiction and African American fiction from the general collection to its own special place. Some patrons have requested this, yet many staff are uncomfortable with the idea - saying it promotes segregation and disrupts serendipitous discovery of an author who might be different from the reader. Do you separate them? Do you separate one and not the other? Why or why not? You must provide at least 3 reasons for or against your decision. Feel free to use outside sources - this is weighty question that is answered differently in a lot of different libraries.

I don't think that these two sub genres of fiction should be separated. Both of the sub genres deserve to be highlighted but still underneath the fiction umbrella. There are many ways to do so by way of displays and booklists, but again, still within fiction. Here are my reasons why:

1. Separating the sub genres will lead to other separations within the fiction umbrella. Further separations will start to follow, like Christian fiction or Latin American fiction. It will be hard to find a stopping point.

2. Underneath those sub genres of African American fiction and GBLTQ fiction, there are even more! GBLTQ fiction about transitioning or African American fiction about the streets (Street Lit). Like reason number one, there isn't a place to stop. Plus, not all African American Fiction or GBLTQ fiction can reside in the same spot. A fantasy book with an African American protagonist and a mystery book with an African American protagonist could not be on the same shelve due to the way the library's shelving system works.

3. I would be afraid that my patrons would feel isolated or embarrassed if they see African American fiction or GBLTQ fiction all alone in its' own shelving. As a library, our goal is to include everyone and make all feel welcome and unafraid. Keeping both sub genres in general collection would show the patrons that they are able to browse books of all sorts of topics without the judgement of others. 


  1. Great prompt response! You did a great job backing up your point. Full points!

  2. You make a good point that separating/highlighting one or two sub-genres could be the start of a slippery slope in deciding which sub-genres should be separated and which should be kept within the general fiction section.