Cleveland Public Library’s Rainbow Readers Donates LGBTQIA+ themed books to the Beyond Identities Community Center

On February 17, 2022, the Rainbow Readers (Library employee resource group) presented a collection of LGBTQIA+ themed books to the Beyond Identities Community Center (BICC) at their brand new space on Euclid Avenue near downtown Cleveland. Founded in 2004, the BICC has served as a safe haven for hundreds of LGBTQIA+ youth of color in Greater Cleveland. The Library’s partnership with BICC demonstrates to the youth that CPL is a safe and welcoming space for them. We also hope easy access to these books encourages personal growth through reading materials that reflect their life and experience, reminding us of Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop’ often cited quote:

“Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange. These windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through in imagination to become part of whatever world has been created and recreated by the author. When lighting conditions are just right, however, a window can also be a mirror. Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences as part of the larger human experience. Reading, then, becomes a means of self-affirmation, and readers often seek their mirrors in books.”