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Libraries Are For Everyone: Pride in the Library Goods

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Kelly Jensen


Kelly is a former librarian and a long-time blogger at STACKED. She's the editor/author of (DON'T) CALL ME CRAZY: 33 VOICES START THE CONVERSATION ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH and the editor/author of HERE WE ARE: FEMINISM FOR THE REAL WORLD. Her next book, BODY TALK, will publish in Fall 2020. Follow her on Instagram @heykellyjensen.

Libraries have been under constant attack now going on almost three years. Rising fascism, combined with unmitigated bigotry from groups like Moms for Liberty (and dozens of others) has led to an astounding number of book bans, alongside attempts to fully defund one of the most precious public institutions and defenders of the First Amendment in the United States. But no libraries nor library supporters are going down without a fight. If anything, advocates are pushing back harder than ever to make it clear that libraries are for everyone.

With Pride officially here, it seems fitting to emphasize the fact that libraries exist to meet the needs and interests of all people, from birth to the elderly. Not all books in the library are for everyone, but everyone should be able to find a book that suits them. No one person gets to dictate what can or cannot be in the library nor what any individual can or cannot have access to. Despite the right wing dog whistles about porn in the library or about library workers grooming young people, the fact of the matter is those individuals are choosing to offload their duties as parents to guide their children in appropriate reading material by demanding the removal of books they don’t like from shelves. For claiming not to coparent with the government, they sure want the government to do the parenting so that they do not need to have tricky conversations with their kids about why they do not want them to read or access certain materials. That is their code of parental rights. What doesn’t fall underneath that is demanding that material be made inaccessible for all people.

Let’s celebrate the fact libraries are for everyone with this library-themed pride merch. Yes, let’s acknowledge rainbow capitalism right here, and let’s also accept that emphasizing the importance of LGBTQ+ presence in the library matters. All of these come from small creators, and wearing or sporting these library pride goods helps you identify yourself with the right side of history.

Of course, who needs a time frame when it comes to being proud of an inclusive library? These goods will do you well all year long.

Image of a holographic sticker featuring an open book and library on top of it.

Let’s kick things off with a holographic sticker featuring a library and the reminder that libraries are for everyone. $5.

Image of an enamel pin in the shape of an open book that reads "libraries are for everyone."

Same message, different medium. Grab this enamel pin and emphasize the importance of libraries being a space for every person. $ 11.

Image of a black t-shirt with the sentence "libraries are a safe space" in a rainbow of colors.

No matter who you are, libraries are a safe space. If they are not, then they are not fulfilling their role as a library. Grab this shirt in a variety of colors — though imo, the black is perfect — and in a variety of styles, from tees to hoodies and crew necks. $30 and up, some varieties up to size 5XL.

Image of a green t-shirt with a logo similar to the reading rainbow logo. It says "Libraries made me gay."

If your initial thought was this is the kind of shirt that book banners will point to as proof of their beliefs, let me suggest the opposite: this shirt is a reminder that for so many people, it was seeing themselves in a book at the library that opened up the doors for them to be their truest selves. Grab the libraries made me gay tee for $23, in a variety of colors.

Image of a sticker with a stack of books being connected to a second stack of books with a rainbow. In black text, it reads "libraries are for everyone."

A simple sticker, but the simplicity emphasizes the importance. $2.

Image of a cream sweatshirt with the text "libraries are for everyone" in rainbow font. There are several rainbow colored books on the front and back.

Choose whether you want a sweatshirt, hoodie, or tee in this rainbow-riffic libraries are for everyone shirt. I especially love the back detail. $30 and up.

Image of a black tank top with the phrase "libraries are for everyone." Libraries is in rainbow colors.

This might be my favorite take on the libraries are for everyone shirt. Grab the simple tank for $30, up to size 2XL.

Black tank top with white text reading "free people read freely."

From the same shop as above is another excellent library pride tank option. Free people read freely indeed. $30.

Pair of buttons featuring the library symbol, with the book colored in like a rainbow.

Grab a pair of library pride buttons, which will look perfect on your denim or your tote. $2.

Black sticker with the text "subversive librarian."

I do not believe doing your job and providing a wide range of books is subversive. However, in many communities, doing that DOES make one a subversive librarian. Wear this sticker with pride. $13, for a pack of 10, so you can pass them out to everyone else who needs one.

Three different queer-themed library stickers.

Choose your fighter among these rad LGBTQ+ library stickers…or frankly, grab one of each. $5 and up.

Image of a canvas tote with text that reads "libraries are for everyone," with everyone in rainbow colors.

Pop this tote bag over your shoulder to carry home your queer library loot. $14.

Image of a gray shirt with blue text reading "libraries are not neutral."

Choose your shirt color and share one of the most important messages about libraries imaginable: no matter how much you want to believe this to be the case, libraries are not neutral. They are upholders of the First Amendment and democracy. $30, sizes up to 3XL.

Image of a white hand holding a sticker that reads "ban guns, not books."

Isn’t it amazing we live in a country where a lot of folks believe books are harming children and need to be banned but look the other way when classrooms of children are gunned down with an actual weapon? Anyway, good sticker. $3.50.

Image of a black shirt with white text reading "protect access to all books for all people." It has colorful book spines on it.

Exactly. $30 and up.

Image of a round sticker in groovy 70s colors that reads "I am the librarian Republicans fear."

My only little qualm with this incredible librarian sticker is that most republicans actually do support librarians doing their job. But…honestly? If this sticker makes someone uncomfortable, then they know what their job is. $4.50 and up, depending on size.

Image of a trans flag enamel pin with the phrase "libraries are for everyone."

Love, love, love this trans flag enamel pin supporting inclusive libraries. $10.

Image of a bright colored mug that reads "support your local library lesbian."

For all of the library lesbians out there, a mug! $17 and up, depending how big the capacity you prefer.

You are safe with me book enamel pin.

Last but not least, one of the most important things you could indicate to your library patrons…or to your library workers….or your fellow humans: you’re safe because you support them, believe them, and advocate for them. $11 for this enamel pin.

Wearing library pride goods isn’t enough, of course. But you already know that. Spend some time digging into our tremendous archive of censorship news and writing, as well as our library features, to discover more ways to advocate for your local public library.