Library of Congress selects Casper Pride Guide for LGBTQ+ Studies Web Archive
CASPER, Wyo. — The Casper Pride Guide has gotten the attention of the Library of Congress.
The library, the research arm of the United States Congress, has selected the Casper Pride Guide for inclusion in its historic collection of internet materials for its LGBTQ+ Studies Web Archive, Casper Pride announced on Wednesday.
Casper Pride did not apply to the Library of Congress asking it to consider the guide for inclusion in the archive. Casper Pride Chair Mallory Pollock said Thursday she does not know how the Library of Congress came across it, but speculated that it might have something to do with strong search engine optimization that went into the construction of the guide.
“When we built it, the website designers did a really good job with SEO,” Pollock said, noting that LUM Studio optimized the Casper Pride Guide website to show up when people search for queer resources in Wyoming.
Funded through a Casper-Natrona County Health Department grant, the Casper Pride Guide helps connect people in the queer community with healthcare providers vetted by Casper Pride, and Pollock said there has been steady use of the website since it was launched.
“We personally refer people to it all the time,” she said.
In addition to information about queer-friendly healthcare providers, the guide has also been serving as a way for the community to share events that are happening in Casper. The social calendar has been one of the things Pollock has liked about the new guide. While there are a lot of things happening in the queer community in Casper, these sometimes tend to happen in pockets, but the social calendar offered by the guide is helping create a place where the different pockets of the community can become aware of one another.
“Having it all in one place is pretty huge,” she said.
In terms of healthcare providers, Casper Pride vets organizations before they can be listed on the guide. The vetting process doesn’t just consider whether a doctor understands issues specific to the queer community but also considers whether the entire office is a welcoming place for people.
There are also plans to expand the types of resources the guide can direct people to.
“There is just a ton of room to grow,” Pollock said, noting that Casper Pride is thinking about expanding the guide to include others who might have a specific skill set able to meet the needs of the queer community.
“We already are looking at expanding it to provide lawyers, real estate agents, school groups that might be able to provide gatherings and stuff for youth,” she said.
The guide may also expand to include resources for providers in other communities as the project continues, Pollock added.
When it comes to physical and mental health, which was what the grant from the health department was intended to address, Casper Pride also worked to add resources for things like suicide prevention and addiction treatment.
In terms of the healthcare providers who are already listed on the guide, Pollock expressed gratitude that there are providers in the community that Casper Pride thinks people in the queer community can trust and get quality care and information specific to their needs from.
“I appreciate all of the providers that have been willing to put their names out there,” she said.
Casper Pride is also able to help offer some training to providers to ensure the services they provide are offered with care for the queer community in mind.
The Casper Pride Guide also allows people in the community to leave reviews about their experiences with the providers listed on the guide. That can be done either to highlight positive experiences or point out any problems people may have run into, giving Casper Pride the ability to follow up and ensure it is responsibly listing providers, Pollock said.
The Library of Congress said in an email to Casper Pride that it may archive the Casper Pride Guide as well as the links that it includes for the LGBTQ+ Studies Web Archive, according to Pollock.
Casper Pride announced the Library of Congress’s selection with this message on its Facebook page on Wednesday:
It’s not every day the United States Library of Congress selects your website for inclusion in their historic collection of internet materials related to LGBTQ+ Studies Web Archive. But today isn’t every day!!! The Casper Pride Guide is full of Queer-specific resources, local, friendly mental and physical health providers, and a social calendar for events. Have you visited it yet?? Thank you to the Casper-Natrona County Health Department for believing in our project, LUM Studio for creating our vision, and all of you for giving us feedback along the way. The Casper Pride Guide is going down in history! www.casperprideguide.com.#casperpride#uslibraryofcongress#lgbtq#pride