Concurrent Program Session

Open to All: Serving the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Community in your Library

Saturday, April 9, 2016, 10:45 AM - 11:45 AM

Colorado Convention Center, Room 108/110/112

Serving gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) customers can often be challenging for public librarians, particularly in small and rural libraries. This session will help library staff work with a new toolkit from ALA’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table – “Open to All: Serving the GLBT Community in your Library.” This session will teach best practices, how to find local partnerships, and how to make your library open to all.

At the end of this session, participants will:

1: Be equipped and able to train staff to better serve GLBT customers.
2: Understand partnerships available in your area.
3: Know best practices from other libraries.

The session organizer(s) identified this session as appropriate for:
Level 1: People with no previous knowledge of the topic.

This session will have: Medium interaction: single speaker/panel with questions or audience participation throughout

Handouts: Download 1  

Track: Imagine

Tags: Marketing/Advocacy, Advocacy, Diversity, Equity of Access, Hot Topics, Other GLBT Issues


Deborah Sica, Principal Librarian, The Learning Group
Alameda County Library, Fremont, CA

Deb Sica, MFA, MLIS, has worked in Research & Education since ?93. Prior to Public Libraries, her focus was historical preservation of GLBT, feminist and genocidal history. For the past ten years, she has managed Public Libraries; both in Harris County, TX and Alameda County, CA where she is currently the Principal Librarian of the Learning Group. She and her wife of 17 years returned to the Bay Area after the overturn of Proposition 8.

Ann Symons, ALA Past President
Symons et al., Portland, OR

Ann Symons, Immediate Past-Chair of ALA's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT), served as ALA President (1998-1999), and is the 2014 recipient of the ALA Equality Award. Symons has recently presented "Serving GLBT Families" at WLA/OLA, AkLA, and the Texas Library Association. She has is the author of "Protecting the Right to Read", a book based on a GLBT censorship challenge in her Juneau, Alaska community.

Peter Coyl, District Manager
Dallas Public Library, Dallas, TX

Peter Coyl is a District Manager with the Dallas Public Library where he manages the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library. He is active with Dallas Library Pride, the staff-led GLBT programming committee. He is currently Chair of the American Library Association's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) and was previously Chair of the Stonewall Book Awards Committee. He has worked in Public Libraries for over 15 years.

For questions about…

Cancellation Policy

Written cancellations, requests for refunds, and/or changes will be accepted until February 26, 2016, and are subject to a $30 handling fee. Refunds will be processed after April 25, 2016. According to PLA policy, all meal events require preregistration. The above cancellation/change information also applies to all preconferences, meal events, and tours.

The PLA 2016 Conference is offered on a cost-recovery basis. PLA reserves the right to cancel all or any part of this event if there is insufficient registration or for other reasons. Neither ALA nor PLA is responsible for cancellation charges assessed by the airlines or travel agencies, or other losses incurred due to the cancellation of the workshops. All information listed on this website is subject to change.


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All participants are expected to observe the rules and behaviors described in the Statement of Appropriate Conduct in all conference venues, including online venues, and conference social events.


There is no formal dress code at the PLA Conference. What’s most important is to dress for comfort.

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Contact Carly DiVito, Corcoran Expositions, 312-541-0567 or


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Contact Heather Cho, ALA Media Relations Specialist, 312-280-4020 or Please review our conference media policy.


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Mobile App

Attendees can access full event schedule, evaluate sessions, customize their own agenda, and compete in the Extraordinary Exhibits photo challenge game on the PLA 2016 mobile app. To request assistance with the mobile app, please e-mail

PLA Office

The PLA Office is located in A Mezzanine in the Colorado Convention Center. You can access the A Mezzanine from any of the lobbies using Elevator A, across from registration, and press the MZ button to get to the Mezzanine. You can also access A Mezzanine from Exhibit Hall A using Stairwell 30. The office phone numbers are 303-228-8450 and 303-228-8451. Onsite office hours are Monday, April 4–Friday, April 8, 8:00 AM–5:00 PM; Saturday, April 9, 8:00 AM–1:00 PM.

Registration & Housing

Onsite registration hours are Tuesday, April 5, 7:30 AM–5:00 PM; Wednesday, April 6, 7:30 AM–6:30 PM; Thursday, April 7, 7:30 AM–5:30 PM; Friday, April 8, 7:30 AM–4:00 PM; and Saturday, April 9, 8:00–10:00 AM. Conference registration and housing is managed by Experient. Call or e-mail your questions, 800-424-5249 (U.S. and Canada), 847-996-5829 (all other countries), or Experient representatives are available Monday–Friday, 9:00 AM–5:00 PM Eastern. PLA Conference is a professional event. It is not open to the public.


Contact Corcoran Expositions, Mary Michalik at 312-265-9650,; or Matt McLaughlin at 312-265-9655,

Thank you PLA Conference Sponsors!


Most conference events—including all preconferences and concurrent program sessions—will take place in the Colorado Convention Center (CCC), 700 14th Street, Denver, CO 80202. Additional events will be held at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center, 650 15th Street, Denver, CO 80202, and other venues as indicated.

Other Questions

Contact PLA, 800-545-2433 x5PLA (x5752) or; or find someone to help in the PLA Staff directory.