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 ...is 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.
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?