Gulfport Library Wins Prestigious ALA Award

| February 14, 2018

Gulfport’s Public Library has just earned a prestigious award for its work in support of the LGBTQ community. The Newlen-Symons Award for Excellence in Serving the GLBT Community is presented by the American Library Association’s GLBT Round Table (GLBTRT). According to the ALA “This year’s award is being given to the Gulfport Public Library in honor of their amazing and extensive programming, resources, outreach and partnerships they have with the LGBTQIA community.”

The Award, including a framed citation and $1,000 check, will be presented at the ALA’s annual convention in June.

Dave Mather, Library Director, says the two previous awards went to major libraries, so it’s significant that the award this year went to the library of a 3.3 square mile city. He gives much of the credit to the Library’s hard-working LGBTQ Resource Center volunteers.

Previous award recipients include the Open Book Library (Bibliothèque à livres ouverts) at the Community Centre for Gay and Lesbians of Montreal (2017) and the Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection at the University of Minnesota Libraries (2016).

Nominees each year are evaluated on the following criteria: innovation, impact, sustainability and advocacy.

The purpose of the Resource Center is to not only provide a welcoming communal space to the large LGBTQ population of Gulfport and Pinellas County, it also establishes a sense of awareness and advocacy for a segment of the Gulfport community that is ingrained in the very fabric of the community; it’s history, unique sensibility, and accepting creative spirit. The LGBTQ Resource Center is a project of the non-profit Circle of Friends of the Gulfport Public Library.


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