On-Demand 2-Part Webinar Series: Transgender People in Libraries

This 2-part Webinar Series is on transgender people in libraries. 

Learning Outcomes: Please review learning outcomes listed below.

Who Should Attend: Administrators and managers seeking guidance in hiring and retaining trans/gender-diverse employees as well as responding to anti-trans/anti-LGBTQ+ challenges to books, programs, and/or staffing decisions in their libraries; library workers at all levels seeking best practices in working with trans colleagues, serving trans patrons, and better understand and fight back against anti-trans/anti-LGBTQ+ misinformation.

Webinar Series Presenter: Heath Umbreit

On-Demand Webinars

Part One:
Working with Transgender Patrons and Colleagues

Presented on: Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Description: This webinar is the first in a two-part series on transgender people in libraries. An introductory look at gender and gender identity, this webinar places emphasis on translating knowledge and awareness into actionable best practices in a library setting. Attendees will come away with a better grasp of concepts of gender, gender identity, and pronouns, as well as why it is a vital topic in our society today. Tips for best practices give attendees concrete actions they can implement in order to better serve patrons and colleagues across the spectrum of gender identities in their libraries.

Learning Outcomes: 

At the end of the webinar, attendees will be able to:

  • Define conceptual information about gender identity, including: the difference between sex assigned at birth and gender identity, the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity, terminology such as "cisgender" and "transgender," and what pronouns are;
  • Articulate why it is important to learn about and incorporate best practices about gender-diverse people into day-to-day operations;
  • Recognize and challenge unconscious biases in themselves and others in regard to the way gender and assumptions about gender influence interactions;
  • Implement best practices such as: including pronouns in introductions, practicing the use of different pronouns, recognizing and addressing problematic behaviors such as misgendering; and
  • Create authentically gender-inclusive spaces for employees and patrons alike.

Part Two: Understanding and Fighting Anti-Trans Misinformation

Presented on: Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Description: This is the second webinar in a two-part series about transgender people in libraries. As the transgender population increases in size and visibility, a resulting backlash has gripped America--and libraries are in the crossfire. Misinformation campaigns targeting transgender people are being leveraged as part of a concerted effort to censor books, displays, and programs; reduce free access for patrons of all ages; harass or threaten library and information science (LIS) workers; and interfere with or even shut down the operations of libraries across the country. Thus, LIS workers have a major stake in understanding and combatting anti-trans misinformation when they encounter it; but, due to these campaigns' widespread nature, it can be difficult for the average person to discern between what is fact, what's fiction, and what's opinion. Learn how and why anti-trans misinformation is created and spread, how you can distinguish between reliable and unreliable information, and why LIS workers have a uniquely important part to play in speaking out against anti-trans misinformation in what prior attendees have called "the most powerful session I have attended in a while" and "the first authentic information I've gotten on this civil rights issue."

Learning Outcomes: 

At the end of the webinar, attendees will be able to:

  • Define the concepts of cultural narratives and frameworks, and explain how misinformation campaigns leverage them to spread misinformation more effectively;
  • List common American cultural narratives and frameworks about transgender people;
  • Identify the animating goals of anti-trans misinformation at the root of today's misinformation campaigns;
  • Distinguish between reliable and unreliable sources of information about transgender people, lives, and experiences; and
  • Take action to call out and speak up against anti-trans misinformation where it intersects with the professional LIS values of access, literacy, inclusivity, and equity.


Heath Umbreit (they/them), MLIS, is the Adult Services Librarian at Morrill Memorial Library in Massachusetts. At Drexel University, they earned their Master’s in Library & Information Sciences, conferred in 2014. Their career as a librarian spans over a decade; they started as a part-time Circulation Assistant at their local public library in 2011 before working as a temp assistant at MIT Libraries (2014-2016), and then as the Information Services Librarian at Sharon Public Library (2016-2021). Mis- and disinformation has been a professional and personal interest of theirs for several years; their study of the phenomenon focuses on a critical examination of popular narratives about disinformation, the concept of epistemic supremacy, and the ways in which information and disinformation intersect with systemic power differentials in American society. As a nonbinary trans person, Heath intentionally brings a unique perspective to the field of professional librarianship and centers the values of equity, access, and social justice in their work.

Tech Requirements

Core Webinars are held in Zoom. Speakers or a headset for listening to the presentation are required. Closed captioning is available in the Zoom platform.


If you have a question or need to make arrangements for special assistance or additional accessibility, please contact Mia Blixt-Shehan (mblixtshehan@ala.org).