Before the internet, a good trans library was a valuable thing. In an era when information and stories about our lives were rare, it was a pleasure to have access to a collection of books and serials lovingly and passionately collected by a trans person. Alas, most of these collections were either dispersed or are now collecting dust in someone’s basement. I miss having a good trans library and so I have a preposterous proposal: let’s build another one!
The aim of this project is to assemble a large collection of historical, important and not-so-important works on trans issues and people. I am interested in acquiring even transphobic titles. (Know thine enemy.)
I started the library by adding my small collection of good trans books and will be acquiring significant texts from this time forward. If you still have a collection of trans books or periodicals gathering dust in your basement that you would consider deaccessioning (that’s a respectful term for “getting rid of”), please get in touch with me. I’ll list the complete collection on this website. It’s not a proper library catalogue, but if you are looking for a particular title, the search function will let you know if we have it. It’s also fun to browse sometimes. It’s going to take a while to list even the books I have currently, but I’ll work at it diligently and hope I can get the complete list up soon and then keep up with the acquisitions. I’m willing to accept archival donations also, if there is a demand.
Please get in touch with me if you want to borrow a title. Like the Ottawa Public Library, the loan period will be three weeks. Renewals accepted if someone has not requested the book. Please note, however, that I’m the librarian with the tight bun who will most certainly hound you to return the book. I don’t understand how anyone can grow to adulthood and not know that libraries lend books – they don’t give them away! Also, if there is a demand one day, I’ll open my house for a day in the month (or the week?) for casual browsing or study.
Here are the catalogues for the ambitiously named Ottawa Trans Library. This does not represent all the books in the library, only those added to the catalogue thus far. Titles will be added regularly until the catalogues are complete. I will keep you posted on this fledgling project as I go along.