LGBTQ+ is an acronym for various queer identities, which are gender identities and sexual orientations other than cisgender and heterosexual. The 'Q +' acknowledges the diversity of this community, the fluidity of gender and sexuality, as well as the potential for something to be queer, outside of hetero and cis categories, without falling into the categories of LGBT.
Libraries can serve LGBTQ+ people by ensuring that this population is reflected in library collections and provided with services at the library. As a population that is often the subject of discrimination and harassment, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people can benefit from the access to information which libraries provide and the sense of community which library programs can help foster. It is important to note that the LGBTQ+ population is diverse, spanning age groups, ethnic and racial groups, socio-economic groups, and personal identities.
The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.
I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
VI. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.
VII. All people, regardless of origin, age, background, or views, possess a right to privacy and confidentiality in their library use. Libraries should advocate for, educate about, and protect people’s privacy, safeguarding all library use data, including personally identifiable information.
Although the Articles of the Library Bill of Rights are unambiguous statements of basic principles that should govern the service of all libraries, questions do arise concerning application of these principles to specific library practices.