Encounters at the Library Bus. Lesbian Gay Street Festival 2019 in Schöneberg

Europe’s biggest Lesbian Gay Street Festival took place in 2019 in Berlin under the motto „Together against right-wing Extremism“  (Gemeinsam gegen Rechts) as a celebration of love and against discrimination and racism. It was a good opportunity for us to present our new Library Buswith its media diversity. The Library Bus addressed this slogan as it offered a protected space for discussions and encounters and, adjusted to the environmental zones, our bus stopped that day at the district of Schöneberg.

Apart from the around 3.500 media in the bus we presented “queer media” from all different areas (non-fiction, novels, short stories and films) as well as a “queer media kit”. A selective list for literature and online movies (www.filmfriend.de) as well as an open wifi access completed our offer.

Burkhard Kajewicz, Director of the mobile library Tempelhof-Schöneberg


What does the queer book oracle have to tell you? How do you picture your ideal queer library? What are your que(e)ries to the city? These were among the questions and impulses we shared with people at the Lesbian Gay Street Festival in Schöneberg on a hot and sunny day in July 2019, German Pride month.

People discovering quotes from queer books were able to encounter both literature and each other and connect the words to their own life. We asked them to pair up, discuss about a queer book quote and then share their impression about this encounter with us, which resulted in interesting, funny and insightful conversations about “normality”, keeping things “under the carpet” or different perspectives on what “queer” means. The most shared reaction about the book quotes was the exclamation this is relatable as f*ck.

Those who joined us at the library bus were as diverse as the city – young, old, people living in the city or traveling here, people from different social backgrounds, queer people and allies. As an elderly woman remarked, what happened there was exactly her vision of the ideal queer library: a meeting place, a living room, a space for community, art and literature. Though most important to her was that the library should be fully stocked with all seasons of her favorite lesbian TV show. Schöneberg library doesn’t have it yet, but it has a nice collection of queer movies within the library streaming service which you can access here: filmfriend.de

Irina Savu-Cristea/Paula Müller, Encounters media workshops