I would not put GBLTQ fiction and African American Fiction in separate collections. Three reasons for not separating them are preconceived ideas about the two, patron privacy, and shelf space.
Readers can already have an idea that they do not like these two fictions because of the content they believe they will contain. By not having them separated these patrons may stumble upon a book that they would not read because of what they think the content is. For readers who do not know about these two type of fiction it gives them an opportunity to find new authors and type of books to read.
With the divide on the subject of GBLTQ separating them could bring more resistance from patrons. A patron who is against the subject matter in GBLTQ may demand removal of the books. They may believe that their child could get a hold of the material and they do not want it influencing them. For those patrons that would like to read about this subject, having the opportunity to find them among other fiction gives them privacy. This privacy can prevent others from judging them based on their reading preferences. However, I do not feel the same with African American Fiction. If this fiction is separated I do not believe there would be resistance from patrons. Because of this readers of African American Fiction do not feel ashamed or the need for privacy about their reading preferences. By having it with other fiction gives non readers, of the subject content, an opportunity to find it by accident.
Shelf space can be limited in a library. Finding extra space to separate out these two types of fiction could pose a problem. Lyttle and Walsh talk about “combining all fiction books together to save shelf space.” They also suggest if you already have items separated into smaller groupings, letting staff and patrons know about changes if you plan to put them back together to find more shelf space. Even though it would be convenient and a quick way for patrons if they were separated, having shelf space for newer items is important also.
Patron privacy, shelf space and preconceived ideas are the reasons why I would not separate these two types of fiction. The convince and ease of having them separated do give valid reason to separate the two but they do not out way the others.
Lyttle, M., & Walsh, S. (2015, May 5). Separate or Keep Together? Retrieved April 16, 2017, from http://publiclibrariesonline.org/2015/05/separate-or-keep-together/