The Stonewall National Museum & Archives has too many books and not enough space. The solution? More space by adding an annex library at Pridelines in Miami.
The annex, “The Bliss Hebert and Allen Charles Klein Stonewall Loft and Lounge Dedicated By Robert Glazier Alan Mason,” was dedicated March 12 and is located at Pridelines, 6360 NE 4 Ct. in Miami. The 200-sq. ft. annex includes books, DVDs, and other materials centering on the LGBT community and its history.
“We’re always having space issues. About 95 percent of donated items we already have,” said Robert Lee, Stonewall’s chief librarian. Many of the books and materials at the annex are copies of items Stonewall already has on its shelves and in its archives. There are also books specifically for transgender youth and other Pridelines clientele.
Pridelines is an organization that provides LGBT youth with a safe environment. The organization also provides LGBT-centered programming and services.
Emery Grant, Stonewall’s director of community engagement, said the new library is “a natural fit” and a way for the organization to expand its membership base in Miami and reach more members of the LGBTQ community in South Florida.
“We're doing our part to preserve LGBTQ literature and make it available to the community at large.” — Victor Diaz Herm
Pridelines CEO Victor Diaz Herman agrees.
“It provides access to history and stories from our community for our young people,” he said. “We’re doing our part to preserve LGBTQ literature and make it available to the community at large. The community now has this resource here in Miami-Dade County. I think it makes us unique. It also is an extension of our amazing relationship that we have with the Stonewall Museum & Archives.”
So far, Stonewall staff members are helping to staff the new library on their own time. But Grant said the hope is that Stonewall can find a way to get grants or some other kind of funding to pay for the library’s future operation. “We’re just making it happen. The effort will be ongoing. It’s important work.”
Previously, to get rid of some of its surplus inventory, Stonewall has donated books to other libraries around the country, including 6,000 volumes to Oak Lawn Library in Dallas, Texas.
Copies are also donated to local gay guest houses. “We do a lot of different things with second and third copies,” Grant said.
High school students and individuals in gay/straight alliances in Miami-Dade can take out books for free. Others have to pay the same annual membership fees that apply to Stonewall’s Fort Lauderdale location – $35 for individuals, $50 per household, $25 for college students.