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Rainbow Teen Advisory Board

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Rainbow Teen Advisory Board

King County Library System, Wash.

Communicating the Library’s Value | 2017 | Honorable Mention

Innovation Summary

An LGBTQ Youth Advisory Board to create safe spaces for LGBTQ youth. This advisory board welcomes teens in grades six through 12, providing them with a safe space to explore and express their identities and gain leadership experience developing, planning and promoting library sponsored activities and events for the LGBTQ youth community.

Problem Statement

East King County has minimal established safe, public spaces for LGBTQ youth to come together in a social setting that encourages them to explore and express their identities. "Rainbow Teen Advisory Board" is intended to fill this void and also provide LGBTQ youth with an opportunity to be leaders building a solid sense of community for themselves and their peers.


Innovation

RTAB members access the many ways the library system connects with patrons, including in-library, online and at community sites. Participants tap these resources to engage other LGBTQ youth through events and activities that support and celebrate LGBTQ youth. KCLS's values include Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The creation of RTAB aligns with this value by eliminating barriers to equal access for LGBTQ people while deepening the level of engagement among LGBTQ people and allies.


Progress

Create safe spaces for LGBTQ youth. Provide valuable leadership opportunities for the Eastside’s LGBTQ youth community. Develop as an advisory board (one of the first acts were setting norms to establish a safe environment and choosing a name that reinforces safe participation). Plan and execute three events/activities; these include an LGBTQ+ Teens and Allies Summer PRIDE Dance/Game Night, a Cosplay and Drag Fashion Show and an event partnering with a local art museum.