That’s right, August 1st is National Respect for Parents Day. And while I’m not sure what the founder intended, we can show respect for all parents and caregivers by making sure our collections include books reflecting diverse families. We can highlight these books in storytimes, other programs, and displays. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
I Love Saturdays y domingos by Alma Flor Ada
Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match/Marisol McDonald no combina by Monica Brown
Sweet Moon Baby: An Adoption Tale by Karen Henry Clark
Here Comes Hortense! by Heather Hartt-Sussman
Silas’ Seven Grandparents by Anita Horrocks
Monday is One Day by Arthur A. Levine
Spork by Kyo Maclear
The Family Book by Todd Parr
A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams
Along with offering and highlighting materials reflecting diverse families, we can remember to use inclusive language, both spoken and written. For example, when approaching an unaccompanied child in the library, we might say, “Are you with someone today?” rather than, “Are you here with Mom or Dad?” In promotional materials for our programming, we could write, “Children and caregivers are welcome,” in place of, “Children and their parents may attend.”
There are lots of ways to show respect for parents, caregivers, and families! What are some techniques you use? What are your favorite books reflecting diverse families?
Amanda Struckmeyer is a Youth Services Librarian at the Middleton (WI) Public Library. She is a member of the ALSC Services to Special Populations and Their Caregivers Committee.