FAQ

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When was the Bi Pan Library founded?

When was the Bi Pan Library founded?

The library began as a private collection in 2015, transitioning into a public resource on Instagram and our website in 2020. You can read more about the library’s founding and mission on our about page.

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How can I visit the library & how can I borrow a book?

How can I visit the library & how can I borrow a book?

Due to COVID-19, the collection is currently not accepting visitors. When this public health crisis has resolved in the US, the library will once again be available for visitation by private appointment. The Bi Pan Library is not a lending library and does not allow borrowing of materials, but please contact us if you are interested in knowing more about a specific book or arranging for limited scans of chapters/reference pages, or assistance with quotes.

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What genres are included in the library?

What genres are included in the library?

The collection includes all genres of books, movies, television, periodicals, podcasts, etc, as long as they are related to bi/pan/fluid/m-spec experience and / or created by a bi/pan/fluid/m-spec person. You can read further details on our inclusion criteria page.

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Do you offer individual book recommendations?

Do you offer individual book recommendations?

We do occasionally offer individual book recommendations, particularly to assist students, teachers, activists, researchers, journalists, podcasters, organization representatives, etc with their work. We love to be of help. Please visit our library services page to read more about our services, and get in contact!

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How can I support the library?

How can I support the library?

Thank you so much for your appreciation and encouragement! You can support the library with a monthly donation via Patreon or a one-time donation via Ko-fi. Sharing our website and Instagram content is also a huge help — word of mouth is our primary method of connection with the bi/pan/fluid community.

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How can I suggest material for the library?

How can I suggest material for the library?

You can recommend a book, movie, podcast, periodical, zine, or any other type of media via our media suggestion form.

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The library runs entirely on book and cash donations from the community! You can “adopt” a book for the library by making a one-time donation via Ko-fi and noting the specific book you would like us to purchase. If you are a published author and wish to donate your own work, please get in touch via our contact page. Due to COVID-19 and limited access to our P.O. Box, the library cannot currently accept most direct book donations from the community.

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Has the staff read all these books?

Has the staff read all these books?

In short, no — there are hundreds of books in the collection! However, our founder Bren has read a healthy percentage of them and significant research goes into our purchasing process. We are well prepared to answer questions, assist with research, and recommend titles.

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Why is [specific medium/art form] not included?

Why is [specific medium/art form] not included?

Without funding or full staff, the library is not able to cover all mediums at this time. Movies, television, and music are high on our list to create directory pages for in the future, but in the meantime we focus on books, podcasts, zines, and periodicals. We do however cover music, movies, and historical or pop culture figures on our Instagram, if you are interested in more audio and visual content. We also welcome friendly suggestions for future resources via our contact page.

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How does the Bi Pan Library define “bisexual”, “pansexual”, etc?

How does the Bi Pan Library define “bisexual”, “pansexual”, etc?

The library exists to provide resources for and about ANY PEOPLE who are attracted to more than one gender or for whom attraction has nothing to do with gender. There are many words individuals may use to describe these nuanced experiences, such as bisexual or biromantic or bi, pansexual or panromantic or pan, polysexual or polyromantic, omnisexual or omniromantic or omni, sexually fluid or fluid, queer, hetero-flexible or homo-flexible, bi-curious or curious, multisexual or m-spec, non-monosexual… and more. Many people combine labels, use different labels in different situations, exist in flux between labels, or gradually shift labels over time. The library affirms all these experiences, and is not interested in policing the use or definitions of identity terms.

We sometimes use the umbrella term m-spec, or “multiple-attraction spectrum” for practical purposes to signal inclusion of all these individual experiences. Most often, we use the phasing “bi/pan/fluid” because it encompasses the most frequently used labels, and using these most common terms optimizes our website for search engines — meaning the library will reach as many people in the community as possible.

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Is the library trans/nonbinary/Two Spirit/intersex inclusive?

Is the library trans/nonbinary/Two Spirit/intersex inclusive?

Yes! The library welcomes work by/about trans, nonbinary, Two Spirit, and intersex people intersecting with bi/pan/fluid identity. The project was begun by a genderfluid bisexual person.

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Is the library asexual & aromantic inclusive?

Is the library asexual & aromantic inclusive?

Yes! The library welcomes work by/about asexual and aromantic people intersecting with bi/pan/fluid/m-spec identity, and embraces the split attraction model.

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Does the library collect books by/about historical figures who are only suspected to have been attracted to multiple genders?

Does the library collect books by/about historical figures who are only suspected to have been attracted to multiple genders?

Yes! However, it is important to note that the inclusion of public figures merely speculated to be attracted to multiple genders is not an attempt to “claim” them. People of many differing experiences may see themselves reflected in the same historical figure, and this is a beautiful thing. We cannot know for certain how a person from the past would have identified in modern terms, and the Bi Pan Library is not interested in definitively applying labels without consent. We include these figures because m-spec people deserve to see symbols of their place in history, even when specific cases are uncertain. M-spec experience was not first conceived in the 70s or the 90s; we have always been here, and it is reasonable and meaningful to recognize ourselves in people who came before us.

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Does the Bi Pan Library vet books and other media for positive representation?

Does the Bi Pan Library vet books and other media for positive representation?

Not exactly. The library’s purpose is to prioritize history, research, and access to resources. Outdated, problematic, or triggering material can still be vital to the mapping of bi/pan/fluid history and can potentially be useful for activists, historians, authors, journalists, and any curious bi/pan/fluid person who is trying to find their place in the world. Knowing how our own community has failed in the past can motivate us to improve our community in the future, and realizing how people outside our community have failed us can motivate us to demand better.

In light of this, library users are encouraged to look into trigger warnings before picking up titles the library points them to, particularly fiction titles. The library does not currently have the resources to provide individualized trigger warnings or maintain any kind of trigger database.


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