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Scott M

Scott M

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The Care and Feeding of a Library


Three reasons why you need to support your library or understand the care and feeding of your Diversity Library is being brought to you by the director of the Northeast Indiana Diversity Library.

#1.  The NIDL saves valuable stories: While most people think of books when they are asked about what they think libraries are, I would propose that what the NIDL is about stories.   Now you may think that, "well of course books are stories" but let us consider the power of stories.  Most of the civil rights advances in the last several decades have been advanced as politicians and the general public have heard the testimonies or stories of LGBTQ+ people and their allies.  Even in recent times we can see that the advances made in LGBTQ+ civil rights are fragile and in need of protection.  The NIDl has collected these stories in several formats.  The stories are not just the current stories that there are LGBTQ+ people in Fort Wayne and the NE Indiana area but also the past stories of the LGBTQ+ people to prove that there has always been LGBTQ+ people here.  Your NIDL has been collection and preserving these stories from times back when it was a crime to publish and share these stories across state lines or in the US MAIL and being LGBTQ+ was a criminal offense.

#2.   The NIDL is the largest collection of women's history in the area:  The fight for the Feminist Movement and the Equal Rights Amendment was largely powered in the beginning by lesbians.  The NIDL had already a large collection of these materials and newsletters until the large donation of the Joan Uebelhoar collection including not only her library of about 900+ books but her papers and collected feminist materials.  The NIDL digitized about 25 reel-to-reel tapes of a feminist program from 1975-8 called "Bread and Roses" aired on WOWO Radio as a public service.  The collection has an original copy of "Our Bodies, Ourselves" published before they added a cover; a signed copy of "Puling Our Own Strings" (the most famouse of feminist humor books); and a pamphlet from 1922 by Elizabeth K Stanton.  Your NIDL has the stories of women's history of NE Indiana.

#3.   The NIDL is your Library for you and your community:  The mission of the NIDL has always been to not only procure and preserve stories, books and collections but also to make those materials accessible and available for LGBTQ+ people and their allies to advance self-discovery and community awareness.  The NIDL has always has made it a point to network with the community in many ways as well as provide space for meeting of support groups feeling safe within the library's space.  The NIDL is your library whether LGBTQ+ or an ally.

Since ... 

The NIDL was told to leave Purdue's Helmke Library and campus in March 0f 2018 and NIDL Board has been working hard to protect and fund the storage of this collection.  On two years of PRIDE Days the NIDL's volunteers have passed out over 400 brochures with our GoFundMe effort and fund raisers.  As The NIDL director I have reached out to welcoming churches, other non-for-profits and community agencies and filed for grants to not only raise awareness but also to raise funds with only limited success.  Recently the NIDL hosted a group from the Indiana State Library to share access with our collection but to remind them that Fort Wayne is still part of Indiana and that Fort Wayne History is Indiana history.  We want to keep your Diversity library local and in Fort Wayne.

We need your help NOW with a donation to our operating fund until such time we can find a new home and work to get a flow of income, you would help save a big part of LGBTQ+ and Women's History.  You can either send a check to NIDL P.O. Box 5537 Fort Wayne, IN 46895 or by going to the PayPal link on the homepage.  Please won't you help support your library now?

The NIDL Is Moving...


Eight years ago the Northeast Indiana Diversity Library was coaxed

out of storage to start a wonderful association with IPFW.  Professors and

chancellors worked with the Helmke library to find space--first at

Ginsberg Hall and eventually within the Helmke building. In those eight

years through the work with the NIDL's collection and digitization of the

NIDL's archives came the rediscovery of the cross-curriculum value of the

NIDL's resources and the richness of history in the NIDL's archives. The

Northeast Indiana Diversity Library would like to thank the professors,

chancellors, Helmke Library and IPFW for the opportunity for that



When Same-sex marriage was passed in 2014 the sudden discovery in the

Indiana State Library and Indiana Historical Society was that they had not

been keeping Indiana's LGBTQ+ history. Most of the NIDL's collection would

have actually been banned or not allowed to be mailed in the US just for the

word "Homosexual" up to 1958 and most of the history was either swept under

the rug or literally burned and trashed by families.


The "University Transition" of IPFW is upon us and the options that NIDL

was told was: "...either deed the collection over to Purdue University,

Fort Wayne, so that the Helmke Library can manage it under the University's

policies  and procedures, or remove it from the University by May 31, 2018, in

preparation for our transition to Purdue University."  This was presented

to the board that owns and governs the NIDL on Monday, March 12th, 2018.

The board unanimously voted to be moved out of the Helmke Library by May

31st, 2018. Circulation will ceased by March 31st and regular hours have also

ended so as to enable work on preparation for the move.


The combination the wishes of estate donors to the NIDL; the reaction in

the LGBTQ+ community; and the lessons learned of 2014 come down to this

point... that a people must keep their own history for it to be valued.


The NIDL thanks again the Helmke Library and IPFW and wishes the best for 

the University Transformation to Purdue University, Fort Wayne. 

Staff will keep everyone aware of what is happening to the NIDL here on the 

website and social media.

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Need a Last-Minute Gift?

The NIDL still has copies of David Pratt's novel for sale and they would make a great last minute Christmas present for someone on everyone's list! 

Only $13.95 for "Wallaconia" a novel.

It was just  advertised in the G&L Review Worldwide November/December 2017 issue.

Check the NIDL Calendar (above link) is you want to stop by to pick some up or people can email the NIDL up to Christmas Eve at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Helmke Phone systems may be out before the Holidays) and I can make sure to get them to you before X-mas. ...And yes we are card friendly.

Book Description:

“My name is James Howard Wallace, and I always wanted to be normal.” Every young man should have a mentor. Jim Wallace is about to prove for good and all how “normal” he is when he finds himself getting close to Pat Baxter, his neighbor next door. Pat befriends Jim, reveals to him his own heartbreaking story, and in the end helps him know who he really is and where he wants to go with his life. Along the way, Jim must decide what to tell his parents and his girlfriend, Liz, and he must confront an old acquaintance who unexpectedly comes back into his life.

Praise for Wallaconia:

"Keenly and precisely, Pratt depicts the voyage of a boy who wins his own sense of manhood. A wonder-fully written, original coming-of-age tale." – Michael Graves, Lambda Literary

“Sharp, focused, super-intense, and special. It’s rare to find a novel with such a beautifully rendered friendship between a young gay man and an older mentor. I’ll remember the relationship between Jim and Pat for a long, long time.” —Bill Konigsberg, author of Openly Straight and The Porcupine of Truth

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Giving Tuesday 2017

Just when you thought we forgot about Giving Tuesday... 

It seems this year, 2017, both at PRIDE Day but also from other organizations the staff and Diversity Library keep getting thanked for saving and keeping the history of the local LGBTQ community.  Sometimes the all-volunteer staff in their labors at the Northeast Indiana Diversity Library are so busy giving of themselves and focusing on their tasks that time is needed to step back and see what "The Little Library That Could" has accomplished.  That together the volunteers' work is really appreciated.  

December 2, 2014, there was a call to action that changed the calendar and help make history. A celebrated day dedicated to giving – when charities, families, businesses, community centers, students, retailers and more will all come together for Giving Tuesday – a movement to celebrate giving and kick-off the holiday giving season.  If you missed Tuesday there is still time for you to give but you may also ask just where do your dollars go?

  • Maintaining and adding to NIDL's circulating collection which includes the software and computers to process materials and circulate them to library patrons.
  • Preserving archival materials through digitization and safe storage of these materials.
  • Access to materials through cataloging, indexing, and safe displays of these materials.
  • Promoting not only the NIDL as a library and archives but also programs for students or the community groups about LGBTQ history or authors.
  • Providing program support to social/supportive groups that meet in and near the Library.

Where dollars do NOT go is to salaries and buildings.

If it were not for the support and hospitality of IPFW and the Helmke Library; and grants from Macy's; the GM Foundation; and the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne; in addition to donors or Friends of NIDL to our endowment fund... the Northeast Indiana Diversity Library could not provide the access to the wonderful collection or preserve the local LGBTQ history of Fort Wayne and surrounding area through digitizing history in the archives.  NIDL shares the Fort Wayne Community Educational Centers' 501(c)(3) status and donations are tax deductible.

Won't you consider giving to our endowment fund* with a 20% match of your amount; or donate directly by going to the NIDL website and using the Paypal option; or print out the "Friends of NIDL" form and mail in your donation .

*select "Other (select to enter fund name)"; enter "Northeast Indiana Diversity Library" on the box that appears and have your dollars matched at 20%



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