Advancing the conversation: next steps for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer (LGBTQ) health sciences librarianship
Keywords:Outreach, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Consumer Health, Underserved Communities
In recent years, librarians in various sectors have been moving forward a conversation on the distinct information needs and information-seeking behavior of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer (LGBTQ) patrons and how well the profession recognizes and meets those needs. Health sciences librarianship has been slower than other areas of the profession in creating an evidence base covering the needs of its LGBTQ patrons, with, until recently, only very limited literature on this subject. LGBTQ health sciences librarianship is now starting to attract new interest, with librarians working together to bring this emerging specialization to the attention of the broader professional community. In this paper, the authors report on a dedicated panel discussion that took place at the 2016 joint annual meeting of the Medical Library Association and Canadian Health Libraries Association/Association des bibliothèques de la santé du Canada in Toronto, Ontario, Canada; discuss subsequent reflections; and highlight the emerging role for health sciences librarians in providing culturally competent services to the LGBTQ population. Recommendations are also provided for establishing a tool kit for LGBTQ health sciences librarianship from which librarians can draw. We conclude by highlighting the importance of critically reflective practice in health sciences librarianship in the context of LGBTQ health information.