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New List to Highlight Quality LGBT Books
The American Library Association last week announced the official launch of its “Over the Rainbow” Committee, which will create an annual bibliography of “titles of interest to adult readers that reflect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ) experiences.”
Oh, good. Because there are only so many times I can readRubyfruit Jungle.
Joking aside, it is a positive and welcome sign that the ALA sees fit not only to publish a list of LGBT-inclusive books, but to prepare to do so every year.
The Committee is an outgrowth of the Rainbow List Committee that launched in 2008 with the aim of creating such a bibliography for readers under 18 years of age. Unlike the lists of LGBT-inclusive children’s books often compiled by LGBT-rights organizations, the Rainbow List is selective, not comprehensive, with the books chosen for quality as well as LGBT content. (As a long-time reviewer of LGBT children’s books, I can confirm there are many earnest LGBT-inclusive books whose literary — and sometimes mere grammatical — merit leaves much to be desired.)
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The Over the Rainbow Project is an an expansion of the highly successful ALA Rainbow Project. Over the Rainbow Project is an ad hoc committee of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table (GLBTRT) of the American Library Association (ALA).
Members consist of librarians whose charge it is to select from the year’s publications, books that reflect lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgendered (lgbt) experience for adults and to annotate selected titles.
Each year, the Over the Rainbow Project will publish a bibliography of recommended books for general readership. The bibliography will include books published between July 1 and December 31 of the previous calendar year. The committee’s charge is to create a bibliography of books that exhibit commendable literary quality and significant authentic lgbt content and are recommended for adults over age 18.
Our bibliography is not meant to be all inclusive but is intended as an annual core list for readers and librarians searching for recommendations of a cross-section of the year’s titles. Although the committee attempts to present titles for a variety of reading tastes and levels, no effort will be made to balance this bibliography according to subject, area of interest, age, or genre.