GLSEN Phoenix’s Rainbow Library program aims to make Arizona school communities safer and more inclusive by providing LGBTQ+ centered, racially diverse, multicultural, and multilingual book sets available to K-12 schools and community libraries - for free.
Why Rainbow Libraries?
In 2020, less than one-third of children’s books published in the U.S. represented Black/African, Indigenous, Asian, Latinx, Pacific Islander, or Arab characters, and in 2019, just 3.1% of new children's books had an LGBTQ+ main character or subject.
According to the 2019 Arizona School Climate Survey only 32% of Arizona students said they had access to LGBTQ-related library resources at school and ony 12% were taught positive representations of LGBTQ people, history, or events (“inclusive curriculum”).
A collection of texts that positively represent LGBTQ+ characters and historical figures is critical for any school to be an inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ students and those with LGBTQ+ family members.
Inclusive curriculum benefits ALL students by promoting diversity and teaching them about the myriad of identities in their communities.
How It Works
Rainbow Library is a national initiative driven by GLSEN that sends LGBTQ+ affirming text sets to schools and libraries across the country - for free.
Starting April 1, 2022, GLSEN Phoenix is inviting any full-time staff member at a K-12 school or public library in Arizona to apply for a Rainbow Library for their community. Each school that applies is eligible to receive one Rainbow Library starter set, which contains 10 LGBTQ+ affirming grade-aligned books, posters and supplemental GLSEN Phoenix resources.
Rainbow Libraries will be delivered to schools and community libraries in the Fall of 2022 on a first come first served basis. Title I Schools will be prioritized.
Thanks to Our Partners
“Thank you so much for the incredible books. I am so thrilled that we were chosen for the grant. I cataloged them on Friday and they were all checked out Monday morning. We are so appreciative of your generosity.”
- High School Librarian in Kansas City, Kansas
“As an asexual person, seeing myself be represented was powerful because that meant other people would be able to learn about asexuality.”