Some of us remember the beginnings of the Quatrefoil Library — from “back in the day” – before rainbow flags or enlightened legislation altered the lives of LGBTQ Minnesotans, and eventually of the nation. With a wince I remember getting flack for planning a Metronet event at Quatrefoil three decades ago.
Most of all, I think of the founders, including Edward Swanson about whom I posted a couple of appreciative blogs when he died too soon in December 2010. If you don’t know – or want to be reminded of – the Quatrefoil narrative spend some quality time exploring the excellent Quatrefoil website (https://www.qlibrary.org) and reading/viewing the resources posted there.
This library community supported and celebrated the unique Quatrefoil Library long before the movement for equality was mainstream. We understood the importance of the archives and, equally, of the lending library that features a robust collection of reading materials by LGBT writers and about issues of interest to the LGBT community and to readers who just wanted to learn more about the lives of their family members, their neighbors, co-workers, and themselves. https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/tag/edward-swanson/
Some years ago the Quatrefoil Library moved to its present location on Lake Street. In April 2014 Andy Sturdevant wrote a great piece about the library in MinnPost . When I read that piece I resolved to visit and to better know and to think about the success of this bold enterprise. Unfortunately, I never did visit the “new” library, but I did re-read Andy’s post here: https://www.minnpost.com/stroll/2014/04/lgbt-history-lovingly-preserved-quatrefoil-library-lake-street .
The good news is that recognition of the 30th Anniversary fosters new ways to learn about, cheer and support the 21st Century Quatrefoil Library,
First, we can all visit the In & Out: 30 Years at Quatrefoil Library exhibit open through August 28 at the Hennepin History Museum, 2303 Third Avenue South in Minneapolis. Check the Museum website for hours, access and other details. (http://www.hennepinhistory.org/index.html)
A highlight of the exhibit is a special program set for this coming Sunday, July 31 when three long-term Quatrefoil volunteers will lead an informal discussion of the history of the Twin Cities LGBT community library. James Bacigalupo, Robert Frame and Kathy Robbins know the history, the successes and the bumps on the road to equality, including the resistance and acceptance of this community.
The discussion is 1:00-3:00 at the Hennepin History Museum. Cost is included with Museum admission ($5 adults, $3 seniors/students, free for HHM members and children under 6.)
Happy 30th birthday, Quatrefoil Library!