Network of the National Library of Medicine Region 7 Repository

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Lamar Soutter Library; Network of the National Library of Medicine, Region 7

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Gender and Sexuality | Health Sciences and Medical Librarianship | Public Health Education and Promotion


Region 7 priority areas serve to focus and inform our outreach, services, and resources. These areas guide the implementation of local and regional programming.

The Pioneer Library System in Canandaigua, NY contacted Region 7 after several area librarians completed the NNLM Moodle course "Beyond the Binary". They requested a workshop based on the course. The workshop would be offered as part of a standing training session for public librarians in rural New York. Coordinators Margot Malachowski and Bennie Finch attended the training session. Margot was the lead instructor and Bennie assisted with the chat discussion. After attending the session, public librarians would be able to: List four key points regarding the health information needs of the LGBTQIA+ community; List three concepts for providing a welcoming environment for sexual and gender minorities; and identify three resources for providing health information regarding sexual and gender minorities.

During the "Beyond the Binary Workshop", we introduced the National Library of Medicine and the Network of the National Library of Medicine. We explained that we would be covering the highlights of the 4-week "Beyond the Binary" Moodle course. We encouraged participants to share what they were comfortable sharing and to ask what they wanted to ask. The LGBTQIA+ community faces many barriers in accessing healthcare. Consequently, some in the LGBTQIA+ community do not regularly access appropriate and timely care that they need. This workshop discussed cultural humility. Humility encourages self-reflection as we learn about the cultures of any community that is not our own.

We covered four key points: delays in getting health care; insensitive health care providers; stress-related illnesses; and difficulty finding culturally sensitive materials. Three concepts for providing a welcoming environment for sexual and gender minorities are: to become comfortable with using they/them pronouns as singular; display LGBTQIA+ friendly symbols, such as rainbow flags and including your pronouns in announcements and email signatures; and use inclusive images in library materials, such as the images from the Gender Spectrum Collection.

We did live searching for health information in these resources: MedlinePlus: LGBTQ+ Health Topics Page; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health, including Youth; and Fenway Health: National LGBT Health Education Center


LBGTQ+, rural libraries

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Copyright 2021 Malachowski

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Region 7 Rural Health Priority Area

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.