The Library vs. The Internet: Finding a Safe Space to Explore Questions about Your Identity
When it comes to providing objective, vetted information about identity in a welcoming environment, the library wins.
October 11 is National Coming Out Day, a time for people from all backgrounds and walks of life to be honest about their identities and to accept themselves and be accepted for who they truly are. For many, though, the process of coming out is a fairly involved process, with many people yet to discover an identity that suits them, especially younger LGBTQ+ community members. Because of this, many have turned to the internet to answer their questions about themselves. However, while the internet is convenient, the library may be a better option. Here’s why.
Libraries Have More Reliable Sources
The fact that anyone can post anything online is one of the internet’s greatest advantages over more conventional sources of information but also one of its greatest pitfalls. With the sensationalism of the internet, it can be difficult to find strong, unbiased sources of information to answer questions about identity, and misinformation can be found almost anywhere you look.
If you’re seeking accurate answers to your questions, the library is the place to go. It’s an extremely simple process to find what you’re looking for, and generally, it’s safe to assume that the books you’re checking out are telling the truth, so you’ll be able to get some solid answers to any questions you may have.
Avoiding Online Trolling
Another disadvantage of using the internet to learn more about your identity is that, unfortunately, the internet isn’t always the kindest of places. Exploring your identity is a delicate process, and the last thing you need is an online troll harassing you for their own entertainment. As always, practice internet safety when divulging information about your identity, and when exploring your identity, ensure that you’re in a safe space to do so. The library, of course, is one such space, allowing anyone to come and learn about themselves and others.
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Finding Like-Minded Communities in Real Life
The library is a safe haven for countless communities to gather, so if you’re questioning your identity, seek out one of these communities! There are people there who’ll be more than happy to help you work through your questions and struggles, giving you the perfect route for your journey of self-discovery and helping you make some close connections along the way.
If you’d like to learn more about how the library encourages an open-minded and learned community to prosper, visit us at EveryLibrary today!
Visit www.everylibrary.org to learn more about our work on behalf of libraries.
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