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A Welcoming Place for All

Posted on September 06 2016

When Shereen Samuels was fifteen, she discovered that Libraries are inclusive and welcoming places.

Shereen recalls encountering LGBTQ fiction for the first time during a visit to her school library, and vividly remembers the struggle she had taking the books to the checkout desk. When she finally gathered the courage, she was pleasantly surprised by the Librarian’s response.

“I will never forget the gift that the librarian gave me. She was matter-of-fact; it was no big deal. That experience changed me.”

Shereen later returned to the Library as an adult, when she began the process of adopting a daughter with her wife. The Library became a place where her family found community, support and inspiration, and most importantly, it was where they found other people like themselves. 



Public libraries protect intellectual freedom and offer the opportunity to freely access and explore ideas. A safe and open place, libraries often play an important role for LGBTQ individuals who are exploring their identity, searching for information about coming out, looking for support for family topics and leisure reading.

The Calgary Public Library Foundation has established the Pride Fund to support Calgarians who want to learn more about sexuality and gender and provide resources to help LGBTQ individuals overcome a sense of isolation within our larger community. The Fund will enhance the Calgary Public Library’s LGBTQ services, supporting its vital role as an inclusive resource for all Calgarians.

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