...a brick-and-mortar LGBTQ+ library
coming to Boston, MA in June 2024...
who we are
We're a Boston-based team of queer and trans artists and educators passionate about building community through resource-sharing, program-making, and BOOKS!
what we're doing
We're creating a brick-and-mortar LGBTQ+ lending library and sober community space in Boston where the queer and trans community can gather, organize, rest, and grow.
why we're doing it
We're doing this as an act of joy and community in the face of mounting physical and legislative violence against our communities across the nation (incl. waves of book challenges aiming to erase our stories and selves), and as a direct response to a national lack of sober queer- and trans-centered spaces.
how we're doing it
TO DO: Raise a lot of money. Rent a space (in a Boston neighborhood!). Work w/ the community to fill the space w/ everything it needs. (Books! Plants! Coffee! Computers!)
Hire an all-star staff (of well-paid community members).
OPEN! THE! DOORS! (by June 2024)
Want to learn more & get involved?Join us for a Zoom info session!
Tuesday, September 26 – 1:00 PM EST
Tuesday, October 3 – 6:00 PM EST
Tuesday, October 10 – 12:00 PM EST
Wednesday, October 11 – 1:00 PM EST
Thursday, October 12 – 2:00 PM EST
IMAGINE: a quietly majestic, lusciously colorful, resplendently book-filled, plant-filled, naturally-lit, immaculately-vibed open space for queer and trans people of all ages – including youth and families and elders – and all the folks they love.This is the QT Library.
Our Boston-based team of queer and trans artists and educators are creating a brick-and-mortar LGBTQ+ lending library and sober community space in Boston where the queer and trans community can gather, organize, rest, and grow.We're doing it as an act of joy and community in the face of mounting physical and legislative violence against our communities across the nation (including waves of book challenges aiming to erase our stories and selves), and as a direct response to a national lack of sober queer- and trans-centered spaces.
The QT Library nurtures the curiosity and magic of the queer and trans community through centralized resources and curated programs held in an affirming space.
We envision a world in which every queer and trans person in the QT Library community feels connected to our history, nurtured in our present, and propelled into our brilliant future.
The QT Library seeks to be a beloved, restorative
grounded by shared values and trust around…ACCESS
(to personal and educational resources of all kinds for people of all ages)ACCESSIBILITY
(as a fundamental framework for programming and collections development)INTENTIONALITY
(through a commitment to thoughtful decision-making and design)PARTNERSHIP
(with our community, our neighborhood, our city, and our planet)RESPECT
(for one another, for the resources, and for the space)SUSTAINABILITY
(by creating the conditions for longevity and resilience)…all towards an ongoing practice of accountability and growth.
A Note on Interdependence and Accountability
(adapted from language by the New York Foundation for the Arts)
The QT Library recognizes the historic and systemic marginalization of people by race, ethnicity, immigration status, religion, age, geography, ability, sexual orientation, and/or gender and gender-identity. The QT Library will continuously work to identify, acknowledge, understand, and dismantle both its own institutional structures of oppression and those of the larger world. The QT Library continually strengthens its partnerships locally, nationally, and internationally, believing that only through collective action and collaboration can the QT Library build a practice that upholds its values of equity, diversity, inclusion, and disability access and support.We believe that accountability is an active and sustained practice of reducing the harms we cause and investing in our potential to grow. We are accountable to ourselves, to our values, to our community, and to our community’s values. We believe that accountability relies on transparency of practice, clarity in communication, collaborative decision-making, and investment in systems change within and outside of our organization. We believe that we should always be actively learning.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the QT Library?
The QT Library is a brick-and-mortar LGBTQ+ lending library and sober community space for all ages coming to Boston, MA in June 2024. Just like a public library, the QT Library will be a warm and welcoming physical space where our community can gather around shared interests and free resources.
Why is it called the QT Library?
The Q stands for Queer and the T stands for Trans – we're here to serve, support, and celebrate the queer and trans community: our community.(Also – QT looks like “quiet” and sounds like “cutie.”)
Who is the QT Library for?
While all are welcome at the QT Library, we’re focused on providing resources to the queer and trans community of Boston. To that end, the resources we provide will be authored by and curated by members of the queer & trans community – with foundational commitments to abolition, intersectionality, and accessibility grounding our curatorial and programmatic practice.We're aiming to serve patrons of all ages and identities – including families (both inherited and chosen), queer and trans parents, queer and trans elders, queer and trans youth, those seeking family, or those aiming to deepen or repair existing family relationships.If you are interested in joining our curatorial team, please reach out and we’ll be in touch.
Why are y’all building the QT Library?
We, as members of the LGBTQ+ community, are currently facing:
mounting physical and legislative violence against our communities across the nation
recent and recurring closures of queer spaces in the greater Boston area and beyond
a national lack of sober, rejuvenating, queer- and trans-centered spaces
In the face of all this, we believe that we deserve a safe and affirming space where our community can thrive.
So…what’s the plan?
Here’s the easiest, simplest version of an answer to that big, big question:
Raise a lot of money ($50000 to start)
Rent a space (in a Boston neighborhood!)
Work with the community to fill the space with everything it needs. (Books! Plants! A coffee machine! Computers! Cozy places to sit!
Hire an all-star staff (of well-paid community members with great benefits)
OPEN! THE! DOORS! (by June 2024)
Where will the library be located?
We don’t know yet! We’re looking to rent or buy commercial space in Boston proper. However, we’re intentionally waiting to procure real estate until we’ve gathered comprehensive community input. We want to ensure that the library is public transit and pedestrian accessible, increases and enriches the civic wellbeing of the local community, does not contribute to the displacement of current neighborhood residents, and is, of course, safe for our queer and trans community members to access. We are striving for a Boston placement where all feel enthusiastic to show up as their full selves, so we are waiting to declare a specific location until we are confident that all will feel embraced in the space.If you would like to connect with us about free or low-cost space rental opportunities in Boston, please reach out.
How would you describe the QT Library?
What is your accessibility plan?
Our building will be fully physically accessible. This is foundational to our vision for the space, and we see accessibility as an imperative and all-encompassing core value. Accessibility to us means:
COVID precautions (including masking requirements, strict cleaning protocols, top-of-the-line air filtration, and limited-capacity hours) in line with community expectations and public health standards
physical accessibility centered in all space design decisions
no police presence (we keep us safe!) and no tolerance of harassment, abuse, or bigotry of any kind (including bystander and de-escalation training for staff, volunteers, and the community)
designated “quiet spaces”
an accessible website and virtual presence
ongoing accessibility reviews for all programs and practices
How can I help?!?
The quickest and most impactful ways to help are:
You can learn more about other opportunities to join the QT Library community here.
What will I be able to check out from this library?
We are building a collection of 5000+ books, comics, magazines, and other physical materials created by and for the queer and trans communities. We’re focusing on building a contemporary circulating collection of books for all ages, including children’s and young adult literature.
How will the library be funded?
The biggest of questions – and somehow, too, the smallest. We’ll be accruing funds through a combination of individual donations, foundation grants, government grants, and values-aligned business partnerships. That said, we are unequivocally committed to keeping our doors open to all and to eliminating any and all financial (and other) barriers to entry, access, and participation. Our programs will be free or pay-what-you-can and our lending library will not charge membership or late fees. We’re invested in creative funding strategies and solutions.If you are interested in making a contribution to the QT Library or otherwise supporting us in our fundraising efforts, please contact us.
Where will the books come from?
Our collection will be drawn from numerous sources, including:
direct purchase from independently-owned retailers and imprints, with emphasis on LGBTQ+ and BIPOC-run establishments
donations of gently used books from the community
donations of new books from the community via digital wishlists
If you are an author or publisher who would like to donate a copy or copies of your work to the library, we'd love to hear from you!
What kinds of programming will you offer?
Our programming will open doors to creative expression, celebrate our similarities and differences, and deepen our connections to our community and our planet. You can learn more about our past and upcoming programming – along with our wider and wilder dreams for this project – here.
Can I join the team?
Yes! We’re actively looking to expand our team. Our team meets weekly and operates non-hierarchically; we are the strategic decision-makers and day-to-day makers of and advocates for the QT Library. We’re looking for folks who are passionate about supporting the queer and trans community of Boston and the greater Boston area, and who are interested in contributing fully and regularly to the making of this project.If you’re interested in joining our team or if you know someone who might, reach out to us.
Can I join the Board of Directors?
Yes! We're actively looking to grow our board. Board members are, broadly, responsible for the financial, legal, and administrative oversight of the organization. Board members play an important role in fundraising and strategic planning, as well as serving as ambassadors for the QT Library community in Boston and beyond.If you’re interested in joining our board or if you know someone who might, reach out to us.
Where can I find y'all on social media?
How can I ask more questions about this project?
When will the QT Library be open to the community?
We are aiming for a June 2024 library launch – just in time for Pride!
Madi Deming (she/her)
Madi teaches 10th and 11th grade English, directs the school musical, facilitates Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion workshops, and acts as co-founder/advisor of the LGBTQIA+ Alliance Club at a Brooklyn Title I high school. Her classroom prioritizes student mental health and well-being, and she passionately believes in the positive impact of being an openly queer educator. In her free time, she likes to read lesbian romance novels and tell her cat how much she loves her.
Niki Green (she/they)
Director of Operations
niki aspires to be a mercurial fog settling above the forest floor after a storm. they love reading fiction, solving puzzles, and cooperative board games. as the director of operations of the library they can be found confronting problems, implementing outlandish solutions, and hyping up their team members in the process. an architectural designer by day, they love to talk about making spaces accessible, equitable, and full of joy.
Hunter Malone (he/him)
Hunter is a trans guy from central Massachusetts with a passion for queer education, acceptance and identity development. He loves working and volunteering with non-profit organizations and diverse communities. He found a love of reading queer fiction books along with true crime and rom-coms. He works as an employment specialist for adults with autism while also interning with a start-up nonpartisan news outlet as the outreach coordinator. He has a passion for psychology with a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Mathematical Sciences and an M.A. in Community Psychology with a concentration in Program Development.
Jake Stepansky (he/him)
Jake devours queer literature (and carbs) whenever he is not working as a gathering designer, theatre-maker, arts educator, creative producer, writer, and sound designer. In addition to his work with the QT Library, Jake is the executive administrator at Pomegranate Arts and creates extraordinary gatherings as JETco. with co-conspirator Eli Schleicher.
Emily Ann Talley (they/she)
Executive DirectorBoard Clerk
Emily is a non-binary, queer, disability rights advocate who works in human resources for the legal field. They have degrees in English and Foreign Language Education (French). You’ll often find Emily adventuring with her service dog and finding poetry in everything from the seemingly mundane to the breathtakingly extraordinary.
Carina Traub (she/her)
Director of Development
Carina is a Senior Project Manager whose eyes light up when talking about disability justice and the LGBTQ+ community. She loves queer YA literature and wants every LGBTQ+ youth to feel that "oh, it's me" moment that she felt when reading Annie on My Mind for the very first time.
Board of Directors
Jake Stepansky, President
Hunter Malone, Treasurer
Emily Ann Talley, Clerk
Madison Deming, Director
JOIN US AT AN INFO SESSION
Join us at one of our upcoming info sessions to meet like-minded community members, get a high-level overview of the project, ask any and all questions, and learn how you can get involved!
WRITE A LETTER TO A FUTURE READER
We’re curating a collection of literary recommendations from queer and trans folks for queer and trans folks. We’re thrilled to invite you to submit your very own Letter to a Future Reader using the form below.
TAKE OUR COMMUNITY QUESTIONNAIRE
Part 1 is available to submit! Help us by participating in the design and creation of the QT Library.
SIGN UP FOR OUR MAILING LIST
You'll receive updates about upcoming events, opportunities to get involved, and more!
SEND US AN EMAIL
OR SIGN UP FOR A ONE-ON-ONE
Can’t make it to one of our info sessions? Email us to propose a day/time for a new session, ask us a question, or schedule a 1-on-1 chat with someone from our team.
We're always on the lookout for new ideas, new collaborators, and new funders for this work.We're on Instagram (@qt.library), Twitter (@qt_library), TikTok (@qtlibrary), Tumblr (@qtlibrary), Facebook and LinkedIn.You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.Or – you can reach out to us via the form below!We would love to hear from you!
Programs & Events
Wednesday, September 20, 2023: Sapphic Sci-Fi & Fantasy Book Club (1st meeting!)
Saturday, June 10, 2023: Boston Pride for the PeopleSunday, June 24, 2023: An Afternoon of Poetry
What kinds of programming will you offer?
The QT Library will offer a variety of inclusive, free / affordable programming for patrons of all ages and identities that will be held in our physical space. These programs will be led by and co-created with local artists, educators, community leaders, and the community itself.All of our programs will address community needs and desires. Some programs will focus on books and literacy; some will simply exist to create joy.We are developing a training program that will enable folks of all backgrounds to co-create and co-lead programs, and are excited to create programming that will open doors to creative expression, celebrate our similarities and differences, and deepen our connections to our community and our planet.
Can you give us some examples?
Children’s Story Time
A storyteller wears a dress so big that it becomes a rug!I’m Jazzed About This Book!
An event that invites folks of different generations and backgrounds to share the book they are currently JAZZED about and ends in a jazz concert/open mic with queer musicians.Inter-generational Exchanges
Ongoing meetings and collaborative creative projects that allow for elder and younger LGBTQ individuals to come together, share stories, and create community.Queer Grief Group
Intentional space for healing and discussion, facilitated by a licensed social worker or therapist. Thoughtful in its holding of complexity; inclusive of HIV/AIDS, but not limited to that.Queer History Series
LGBTQ+ educators share history lessons that have been historically excluded from curricula. Programs for all ages!QT Movie Night
Support local queer and trans filmmakers, actors, producers, and screenwriters by enjoying their art at a cozy film night at the library. Bring a pillow!Vendor Partnerships
Partnerships with local queer-owned stores or bakeries – we’ll provide them with space to sell their products for free (like a pop-up space for local queer vendors!). Maybe, also, some sort of goods/food pantry where people can take home necessities or treats (pantry staples, fresh produce, menstrual materials, shampoos, cookies, things that bring people joy, etc.).Workshops
Resume writing, general job prep, ESL, art night, improv, yoga, writing workshops led by queer and trans authors.
Below, you'll find a PDF download of our Press Kit, as well as a Google Drive folder of graphics that your organization can use when sharing information about the QT Library.