LGBT Center of Raleigh

324 South Harrington Street - Raleigh NC 27603 - 919-832-4484

Books in the Library

History of the LGBT Center of Raleigh’s Library

Library on Cabarrus Street
Our humble beginnings on
Cabarrus Street: just a few books

Gerber Hart Collection
Rochelle and Phoenix with the donated
books from Gerber/Hart Library

Initial Sorting of Donated Books
Initial sorting of the books

Finishing touches on the first 1,000 books
Volunteer Mary Ann
putting on the finishing touches

May 2011: The LGBT Center moves out of its first home on Cabarrus Street and into the larger and more visible location at 411 Hillsborough Street. The new space includes several built-in bookshelves spanning the entire length of the left wall. As per the directive of the Center’s Strategic Plan, Board Member Erin Iannacchione is charged with creating a community Library.

Lambda Literary FoundationJune 2011: Diana Denza of Lambda Literary Foundation in New York City spreads the word about the Library project. Donations begin pouring in, from local residents as well as from across the country.

A sampling of messages received:

“Hello, this is Karen Sendziak from Gerber/Hart Library and Archives in Chicago. We are one of the nation’s oldest LGBT libraries and archives. What we would like to donate to you are books that might be labeled “classic gay men’s fiction from the 1970’s, 1980’s, and 1990’s.” We could also send some classic LGBT non-fiction titles. I estimate that we could send you at least a couple hundred books….”

Special thanks to Gerber/Hart Library for helping us to strengthen our collection based on the Publishing Triangle’s definitive list of the 100 Best Gay and Lesbian Novels.

From Anna Watson, Former Director of Free Books of Boston: “I have several boxes of queer books, etc., from a non-profit I used to run in Boston, and I would love to mail them to you….”

Anna’s donation brought us numerous and varied titles including the classic Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg, the Strangers in Paradise graphic novel series by Terry Moore, and the novel Of Drag Queens and the Wheel of Fate by Susan Smith.

“We received six boxes of books today from the NC State University GLBT Center, mostly lesbian fiction!”

Thanks to this generous donation made possible by Justine Hollingshead, the Library is proud to offer a sweeping collection of lesbian action, adventure, crime, mystery/intrigue, speculative fiction, and romance novels published by Bold Stroke Books.

The Library also continues to receive several donations from local residents, many with personal notes like this one:

I have a transgender son, and I think I have found virtually every novel written for gay or transgender teenagers. Some of the books are sophisticated enough to appeal to adults, too. I’m looking for a place to donate them where they’ll actually get read.

July 2011: A laptop donated by Joel Adams and a purchased software package become the core of the future library catalog.

August 2011: With help from Center volunteers and Librarian Rochelle Richardson visiting from the West Coast, the books are sorted and the group begins processing books in earnest: creating a record for each item in the catalog database, adding spine labels and color codes, and shelving the books in their new home.

September 2011: Mr. A. Norman Sturdivant of Fayetteville donates a large part of his thoughtfully curated personal library. Many books from Mr. Sturdivant now comprise the Reference section of the Library, including several beautifully illustrated art history and photography books.

LGBTQ America TodayAlso in September, the Library receives a new donated encyclopedia set, “LGBTQ America Today” from the family of Center volunteer Matthew Mirarchi in honor of his birthday. The set contains more than 600 alphabetically arranged entries on literature and the arts, associations and organizations, individuals, law and public policy concerns, health and relationships, sexual issues, and numerous other topics. See other items on our Wishlist.

October 2011: Pre-registration of library cards begins for Triangle residents. The Library participates in the Center’s 3rd Annual “Raleigh is Coming Out” celebration with a Grand Opening event featuring Lambda Literary Award finalist Tom Mendicino.

As the Library continues to evolve, stay tuned for more details on these upcoming milestone events:

December 2011: The 1st Library Book Sale is held in conjunction with the Center’s First Friday Holiday Reception and Craft Sale. The Library raises $250 in proceeds.

February 2012: The 100th patron registers for a library card!

April 2012: The long-awaited debut arrives for the Disc Membership Club for DVD and CD Rentals and the Special Non-Circulating Collection.

A Very Special Thanks to Our Dedicated Volunteers:

Mary Ann
Charlotte Boggess
Alli Buehler
Steven Butler
Marlene Debo
Phoenix Fuller
Les Geller
Rachel Howard
Anita Iannacchione
Justin Kadel
Sandra Lofchie
Dale Mackey
Jim Manchester
James Miller
Matt Mirarchi
Jessica McQuade
Caroline Muglia
Kent Parks
Rochelle Richardson
Max Schreier
Linda Snyder
Hillary Thompson
Tee Underhill
Lori Ward
Matthew Wood
Caroline Yopp
Jenna Zirbel

By Erin Iannacchione, LGBT Librarian

The Library is ready!

Upcoming Events

Apr
27
HIV/STI Testing
6pm - 7:45pm
Apr
27
TpartE
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Apr
30
2017 Red Ribbon Ride
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01
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May
03
May
04
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04
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