Results of a survey of 250 public and college libraries conducted by Library Journal in the spring of 1995 reveal that many library collections inadequately serve gay and lesbian communities. Librarians may be reluctant to purchase gay and lesbian literature for fear of stirring controversy. The article highlights initiatives and programs at the Cambridge (MA), Sheridan (OR), and Kansas City (MO) Public Libraries which provide outreach to the gay community. Outreach continues to be a challenge because of the perceptions that there is not a significant gay/lesbian population within libraries' service areas and that patrons are reluctant to borrow items with a gay/lesbian focus because of fear of prejudice. Proactive solutions to address these problems are offered.
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