Libraries

Large LGBTQA Collection Added to Malpass StacksPicture of Jack and Joyce Wiley at a speaking engagement

On Thursday, June 11th, a reception was held to recognize Jack and Joyce Wiley, of the organization Quad Citians Affirming Diversity (QCAD), and their donation of over 1400 LGBTQA-related items to the WIU University Libraries. In his words at the reception, Dean of Libraries Dr. Michael Lorenzen stated that in all his years working for a variety of academic libraries, this collection ranked in his top five donations he has worked with.

The Wiley’s started QCAD over 20 years ago in the Quad Cities as they recognized the struggles faced by their son when he came out during his youth. Since then, they and their board members have provided a safe haven for gay youth and adults, and served as a resource and advocacy center. According to the Wiley’s, as their organization is changing course and moving to a different location, they chose to work with Matthew Toland, WIU Alumni Council member and QCAD Board President, to find a safe place for their collection. They stated that they were thrilled to entrust the collection to WIU, knowing the items would be accessible to all through consortiums and the interlibrary loan process. “Many of these books were given to QCAD by people for whom they were a lifeline of hope and inspiration during a time of extreme oppression of LGBT people. They were given in the trust that QCAD would see that they provide comfort to others,” stated the Wiley’s. “We are very grateful that WIU realizes the historical value of the collection and will ensure that the books are available across the state and even the world,” they added.

Toland added, “These books, documents, articles and other materials could have gone to a number of institutions, but we approached WIU because we knew the materials would be professionally cared for and available for reading, research, and reference, to people around the world, continuing QCAD’s mission to advocate, educate, and support, as we keep working towards full equality.”

As the words of Augustine Birrell state, “Libraries are not made; they grow.” The WIU Libraries thank the Wiley’s and QCAD for entrusting the libraries with their collection and helping library collections grow. This collection will continue to help the libraries achieve and maintain the WIU core value of social responsibility, with a commitment to equity, social justice and diversity. Dr. Lorenzen stated, "We will take good care of this collection. And we will make sure that the collection is easy to access and use for all." The collection will be available for checkout during the fall semester.

Photo: Jack and Joyce Wiley are shown at their reception on the Quad Cities campus.