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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?

Digital Archive News-Rainbow Reader

The Northeast Indiana Diversity Library has been digitizing local items to preserve and to make these accessible items to the public.  NIDL is happy to announce that all eleven books from 1997 to 2009 of the Rainbow Reader have completed our first step toward being digitized.  These 117 issues of the UP The Stairs Community Center's second major newsletter are already to peruse by clicking our Digital Archives button.


How to Search NIDL Archives on MDON

If the title "TROIS" is put into a keyword search it will bring up 81 issues due to the fact that the TROIS was mentioned in five of the Rainbow Readers.  Using the "Advanced Search" and looking up TROIS as the "Title" will bring up the 76 issues of the newsletter by themselves.  Since historical articles were written in both newsletters using either keyword or advance searches are excellent ways to look up names, places or topics in Fort Wayne LGBTQ+ history.


This process is not only costly in dollars but also time volunteers spent in cleaning up the metadata behind the images so that keyword searches for information are available.  Our first digitized newsletter was the TROIS: Three Rivers One In Six (One in six was the Kinsey Institute's estimate of homosexuals in the population.) from late 1980 to 1987.  The TROIS was started by GLO or the Gay, Lesbian Organization here in Fort Wayne, IN and the first major newsletter of the community center that became known as Up The Stairs  The TROIS was a typewritten newsletter and Computers hate typewriters.  Due to varying keystrokes and outdated fonts NIDL staff literally had to retype almost all of each of the 76 issues. 

The TROIS project took two and a half years from beginning to end.


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Welcome to the Northeast Indiana Diversity Library!

"Indiana's Oldest GLBT Collection"

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The Library's Hours:

Evenings: Sunday, Wednesday & Thursday 7:00-10:00 p.m.*

Daytimes: Tuesday & Friday 12:00 Noon-3:00 p.m.
Other times by appointment call (260) 241-7719.
*Closed Evenings during the Summer -- May through August 24th!

Check the NIDL Calendar or "NIDL Programs" for groups meeting at NIDL !


NIDL is located in room B41 on the basement level of the Helmke Library on IPFW's campus.  A parking garage with free parking is available just East of the building at the end of E. Campus Drive.  Handicap parking is in the lot just South of the Library at the end of E. Campus Drive.  Meters are also available in the lot just South but are only for 30 minutes.  On the IPFW Campus Map look for the Helmke Library or building (7).

NIDL's presence on the IPFW Campus is a collaboration between the Fort Wayne Community Educational Center, Inc., IPFW, and the Walter E. Helmke Library.



NIDL shares the Fort Wayne Community Educational Centers' 501(c)(3) status and donations are tax deductible.  Make checks out to "NIDL" and mail them to the address below. We need your support to the Library at this time which is crucial for the preservation of our GLBT library and for the library's future.  Please, won't you consider giving a tax-deductable gift of support so that this library will not be lost to our community?  The library also warmly welcomes donations of  materials.


Please use the Paypal button or mail directly to the new address...
P. O. Box 5537
Fort Wayne, IN  46895

Giving Tuesday

This year, on Tuesday, December 2, 2014, there is a call to action that will change the calendar and help make history. We are celebrating a 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. TROIS 2 Because of the support and hospitality of IPFW and the Helmke Library; and grants from Macy's 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. Without our volunteer staff and student volunteers the indexing of NIDL archives would never get done. In fact this year the volunteers were able to finish the first drawer and start the second drawer of NIDL's two 4-drawer file cabinets--keep in mind we started this project in 2002. The TROIS newletter was digitized and is online plus the text has been put in metadata to make the issues able to be searched by a keyword of a person, place or topic. 112014PHP33 Digitized photos of Drag shows from 1971 and photos of the first Gay Lesbian Organization (GLO) in the early 1980's were a hit at the first Photo ID Party at Wunderkamer on November 2nd. This is how NIDL gave back to community by sharing what was digitized! Won't you consider giving to our endowment fund and have your dollars matched at 20%?

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Horizons Youth Group

About Horizons Youth Group: horizons
Horizons offers a safe space for GLBT teens and their allied friends to socialize with others and learn about themselves in Fort Wayne and the surrounding Northeast Indiana areaHorizons was established by UTSCC in 1997.  It is a social group for GLBT youth in middle school and high school.  
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Horizons is primarily a social/discussion group.  However, this format also serves as an educational and support network.  If you are a teen in middle school or high school who wants a group where you can be yourself or if you are a parent, counselor or teacher who knows gay teens who could benefit from this group please feel free to contact NIDL for more details or email to the address below with Horizons in the subject line. 
Hey teens!  If you need to talk to someone about anything... feel free to use the contact below.  We make great listeners!
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Normal Regular meetings are: Thursday Nights @ 7:30-9:oo PM

Donations:  As a NIDL-sponsored group, the Horizons Youth Group shares  the Fort Wayne Community Educational Center's 501(c)(3) status and donations are tax deductible.  Make checks out to "NIDL" and note them for Horizons in the memo.

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