MSU Libraries host LGBTQ+ Read-Out

Contact: Pattye Archer

Mayor Lynn Spruill reads at a podium
Mayor Lynn Spruill (Photo submitted)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—The Mississippi State University Libraries play a crucial role in inclusion by creating and maintaining access to diverse resources. As part of LGBTQ+ History Month, the libraries are hosting a read-out and encouraging students, faculty and staff to attend.

Hosted by the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA) Committee, the read-out is Thursday [Oct. 26] at 2 p.m. in the John Grisham Room, and will feature students, faculty, staff and community leaders reading from works that speak to them and the idea of inclusion.

Event co-chair Lauren Geiger, assistant professor and digital archivist, said that from nonfiction stories and educational materials to poetry and graphic novels to hosting programs and speakers, libraries provide a variety of ways for all patrons to connect to a story that resonates with them.

IDEA Committee co-chair DeeDee Baldwin, associate professor and engagement librarian, said that by providing books and other materials that tell diverse stories, libraries can broaden people’s perspectives in informative and entertaining ways.

Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill will return to read at the event for a second time and said that libraries, as well as communities, need to reflect the community they serve.

“Any community’s services, whether from a library or a non-profit or a governmental entity, need to reflect the community it is charged to serve. We learn the most from shoes we have never walked in,” Spruill said. “I try to listen and engage with the people best placed to help with that alternate view of an issue. It is only by embracing that diversity that we can have access to those viewpoints that allow us to best serve all our constituencies.”

Associate Dean for Community Relations and Strategic Initiatives Stephen Cunetto said the IDEA Committee and events like Thursday’s read-out support the MSU Libraries’ mission to promote “the ideals of diversity, citizenship, leadership, and service.”

“We are committed to serving all of our students and constituents,” Cunetto said. “And we are happy to see this LGBTQ+ History Month event to continue to succeed and grow.”