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 a weighty question that is answered differently in a lot of different libraries.
I would not create a separate section in a library collection to devote to LGBTQ or African American literature. I do think librarians should catalog items that are LGBTQ or African American Fiction with keywords so borrows can identify them easily. My reasons for not wanting to separate African American Literature and LGBTQ literature are the following:
1. The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) upholds the principles of intellectual freedom and uninhibited access to information, asserting that libraries should “acquire, preserve and make available the widest variety of materials, reflecting the plurality and diversity of society” and should not discriminate on the grounds of age or for any other reason (IFLA, 1999).
2. Some people are very private and I would not want to take the chance of exposing their private lives. If I kept this section separate people wanting literature from this area may not feel comfortable being caught in that section.
3. Keeping these items from general circulation creates a stigma.
While trying to decide how to respond to this question, I did find an interesting news report about an Oklahoma library that was criticized for how they handled a situation. It can be found at this link: http://newsok.com/article/5522007 .