Call for submissions: Out Behind the Desk


Out Behind the Desk: Workplace Issues for LGBTQ Librarians (a working title), edited by Tracy Nectoux and published by Library Juice Press as part of the series Gender and Sexuality in Librarianship.

Seeking submissions for an anthology of personal accounts by librarians and library workers relating experiences of being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, or queer at work. This volume seeks to represent a broad spectrum of orientations and gender identities, highlighting a range of experiences of being and/or coming out at work. Also welcome are critical and historical perspectives on the challenges of navigating gender and sexuality in the library workplace.

Objective of Book

Librarians and library workers are in a singular position to discuss the difficulty—even today, even in libraries—of choosing to be out at work. Our situations are unique. We are educators, leaders, and often advocates of some of our most vulnerable citizens: LGBTQ youth. We face two enormous, yet conflicting consequences when we decide to come out: the risk of jeopardizing our own professional security while simultaneously presenting ourselves as allies to LGBTQ patrons. The discussions in this volume will be an uncommon and valuable addition to the literature of gender and sexuality in the workplace, a topic that has been little examined in library literature.

Suggested Topics:

  • Personal narratives of coming and being out in the library workplace
  • Personal, historical, and critical approaches to hostile environments and/or colleagues
  • Accounts of supportive environments and/or colleagues
  • Narratives of workplace discrimination struggles
  • Narratives of coming out in rural and urban contexts
  • The challenges of coming and being out in historical perspective
  • When and why library workers stay closeted
  • Other critical, historical, and personal perspectives related to being out in the library

Target Audience:

LGBTQ librarians, library workers, and library school students, as well as library administrators who might find such a volume helpful in creating an inclusive, diverse, and safe workplace for both employees and patrons who are sexual minorities.

Submission Guidelines:

We welcome and encourage submissions from a broad spectrum of librarians and library workers and seek to be inclusive of all ages, library types (public, academic, or private libraries), geographies (rural, urban, international), and sexual orientations and gender identities (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, transsexual, gender-queer, questioning, etc.). A range of submissions are welcome, including essays, poetry, and visual art.

Anonymous submissions will be accepted from librarians and library workers who are not out.

Deadline for summaries: May 31, 2009

Submit a brief summary (3 paragraphs maximum) and a short author’s statement or URLs where appropriate. Electronic submissions only to

Deadline for manuscripts: December 31, 2009

One electronic copy. Black-and-white artwork may be submitted in hard copy; author responsible for securing image copyright permissions. Text may range from 100 to 5,000 words.

Tracy Nectoux
Cataloger, Illinois Newspaper Project
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Cell: 217-766-7984

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