The Gay Alliance Library and Archives are made possible by a team of volunteers that we are recognizing as our Volunteers of the Month for November. The team invites you to stop by the LGBTQ resource center and check out the library — an open house is scheduled for Nov. 2, from 6-8 p.m.

Our library team works weekly cataloging and processing new donations that make up the Library. The Gay Alliance library is something that the Rochester community can certainly be proud of. The library volunteers are excited with the amount of books that are being checked out on a daily basis. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 9am to 5pm, extended hours are available Wednesday 6 pm to 8 pm.

Did you know that the Gay Alliance Library is the second largest LGBTQ specific library in the country and the largest on the east coast? It is a circulating and reference collection of over 10,000 fiction and nonfiction books and 800 magazine and journals titles, as well as audio recordings and DVD’s related to gay and lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer issues. The team is currently working incorporating the collection of DVD’s donated by Outlandish with over 500 LGBTQ titles. Most all of our collection is available to be checked out for your reading pleasure. We also have a collection of rare books which include first editions and out of print publications. These books are available for viewing during library hours.

The Gay Alliance Archives house a historic collection of copies of the Empty Closet newspaper, as well as vital paper records and ephemera of events, organizations and people of importance to the Rochester LGBTQ history. Evelyn Bailey, our lead archivist, has been working tirelessly to bring LGBTQ history to a new generation by her library initiative, where libraries in the Monroe County and Pioneer Library Systems host screenings of Shoulders to Stand On. On behalf of the Gay Alliance, Evelyn just received the Debra E. Bernhardt Annual Archives Award from the New York State Archivists society. This award is given for excellence in documenting New York’s History.

We are always looking for new volunteers that have a passion for books and library science. If you would like to join this amazing team, please stop by during library hours and we will get you in touch with the team. The team invites you to stop by the LGBTQ resource center and check out the Library and Archives.

The Library will be hosting an open house on November 2nd from 6 pm to 8pm. All are welcome to peruse the collection and meet our amazing team of volunteers.

Our Volunteer Library and Archive Staff

Gerry Szymanski – Volunteer for 14 years, GAGV Librarian, Library Leadership Team, MLS, Reserves and Digital Reserves Librarian, Sibley Library, University of Rochester.

Jeff Fowler – Volunteer for 10 years, Library Leadership Team, Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, and Engineer at Xerox.

Tara Winner-Swete – Volunteer for 7 years, Library Leadership Team, MLS (Library Science), MA (History of Art & Architecture) and Catalog Librarian, The Strong.

Bruce Woolley – Volunteer for 10 years, member of the gay community 45 years, Ph.D., Doctor in American History.

Evelyn Bailey – GAGV Lead Archivist, Chair of GAGV Shoulders to Stand On Program, member of the gay community for 35 years, small business owner and educator for 30 years.

Nicole Pease – Volunteer since January 2016, MLS and Archive Consultant for the GAGV 2010 – present.

Bob Pease – Volunteer since January 2016, Director of Development, Cloudcheckr.

A very special thank you to our library volunteers for the countless hours and their amazing work; all of you are an asset to the Gay Alliance. For more information on the Gay Alliance Library and Archives, contact us at and like us on Facebook.