As part of Vancouver Pride's festivities, Out On The Shelves (OOTS), the city's cherished LGBT2QIA+ community library is thrilled to celebrate its 40th anniversary. The public is warmly invited to contribute to the development and enrichment of this community-organized, volunteer-driven literary haven.
Since its inception in the early 1980s, OOTS has been a unique non-profit library committed to providing accessible queer literature and celebrating the narratives that define our diverse community. This commitment to social justice and anti-oppression work remains a core principle of our mission.
Originally established in downtown Vancouver, OOTS had a tenure at QUMUNITY and is currently situated on UBC's West Point Grey campus (but is entirely community-run and unaffiliated with the university). Throughout its evolution, OOTS has welcomed everyone seeking a space that celebrates LGBT2QIA+ experiences and histories. In the past year alone, we have hosted more than a hundred patrons and visitors.
As part of our 40th-anniversary celebrations, we are inviting patrons and community members new and old to visit the library and sign up for a free library card. We've also launched a 40th Birthday Fundraiser on GoFundMe in a bid to expand and diversify our programming. Each donation edges us closer to our goal of a more comprehensive, representative library.
Alternatively, we invite you to make a book donation from our wishlist at Massy Books. When you add 'Out On The Shelves Library' in the "other note" field, you'll receive a 20% discount (thank you Massy!). Our wishlist is carefully curated to reflect the diverse voices and experiences within the LGBT2QIA+ community, but we also encourage you to suggest titles using a form available on our website.
If you have items you would like to donate to the library, reach out to us! Donations can be mailed or dropped off at 2112-6133 University BLVD, Vancouver BC V6T 1Z1.
For more significant involvement, consider participating in our activities detailed at https://outontheshelveslibrary.com/get-involved/
Reflecting on our journey, we honor the contributions of librarians Mary Murphy, Neil Richards, and Ron Jaremko from Saskatoon, who kindly donated the library's name in 1983. We proudly uphold the spirit of their 'Out On The Shelves: a Gay and Lesbian Fiction List', championing and promoting our community's diversity and resilience.
As OOTS celebrates its 40th year, we contemplate our past and eagerly anticipate a future rich with empowering narratives. Your support enables us to continue our work towards inclusivity and representation in Vancouver.