Contextual Classification at Out On The Shelves Library
Keywords:LGBT2QIA , queer libraries, alternative classification
AbstractOut On The Shelves is Vancouver’s only Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Two-Spirit, Queer, Intersex, Aromantic/Asexual (LGBT2QIA+) library. Due to recent organizational changes, it has become apparent that its current classification system is no longer working effectively. Not only was the previous system unstructured and confusing, it failed to explicitly represent many aspects of the community it serves. This project was undertaken during the summer of 2018, researching alternative classification and queer issues in knowledge organization to determine how to improve it. This research, combined with careful consideration of the needs of the library itself and its users, suggested that building a local, contextually-situated, classification system would be best. A new classification system has been built for Out On The Shelves Library, and will be implemented in several stages beginning in October 2018, with the end goal to be finished by the end of December 2018. The new system intends to be living and changeable, one that lays bare its structures and decisionmaking processes while centering and celebrating the LGBT2QIA+ community and working within the realities of being a small, unfunded, volunteer-run, public library.
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