Consider yourself part of the collection management committee of your local library, or a library at which you would like to work. You must decide whether or not to separate GBLTQ fiction and African American Fiction from the general collection to its own special place. Some patrons have requested this, yet many staff are uncomfortable with the idea - saying it promotes segregation and disrupts serendipitous discovery of an author who might be different from the reader. Do you separate them? Do you separate one and not the other? Why or why not? You must provide at least 3 reasons for or against your decision. Feel free to use outside sources - this is a weighty question that is answered differently in a lot of different libraries.
I can see both sides of this issue. On one hand, separating the smaller genres can show can allow readers explore a new genre all in one space. On the other hand, it can make it seem like it is a controversial subject that patrons need to possibly avoid. Separating the genres gives the librarian an advantage of pointing out these novels easily when readers are looking to browse for books in the genres of GBLTQ and African American books.
My main issue with separating the genres make it seem like they are genres that only certain people could enjoy. Libraries normally separate genres like "romance" and "fantasy" because of the themes in these genres. GBLTQ and African American fiction do not have any specific themes or tones. The appeal of both genres are all over the board, so they do not fit with separating in their own sections like other genres. I think librarians can easily offer these books up as a part of "romance" or "history" during any RA session. There are both fiction and non-fiction books. Finding books would be more difficult for patrons as well, especially if they are familiar with the Dewey Decimal System. As I believe in full equality, I don't think these genres need separated. If a reader doesn't enjoy the subject, the librarian will hopefully catch on during the RA interview or afterwards if the librarian has the opportunity to discuss the books she recommended.
Librarians can handle patrons who request the separation fairly easily as well. They can offer RA for specific books, and they can also explain that separating the books seems to depict that there is something wrong with the idea of the genre, much like separating "adult" movies in movie rental stores.