Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

EDI In Action: Intentionally Inclusive Book Selection

Selecting books for programs is an essential part of a librarian’s job, but how do we do it with inclusivity in mind?  We all have those books from our childhood that hold a special place in our hearts, but are those books we want to read in storytime? Should we put those titles on displays or booklists?  There are so many new books being published, it can be a bit overwhelming sifting through everything to find the good stuff rather than choosing our favorite go-to classics. When I think of selecting books for programs, I always think about Rudine Sims Bishop’s essay Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors.  When a child reads a book about a person who looks or lives like them, they are reading a mirror–they are able to see themselves reflected in the book they are reading.  When a child reads about someone who looks or lives…

- ALA Annual Conference 2022

Toward Inclusion and Equity for Young Children in Public Library Programs

A Pivot to Crowdsourced Wisdom and Resource Sharing #alaac22 After all the pandemic-related shifts to programming and policy, most folks are weary of the word “pivot,” but there is no better word for what a room full of librarians did at #alaac22 when the presentation they were looking forward to fell through. The topic: accessibility and inclusion for children with disabilities and their caregivers. The room was prepared well for such an event, with ASL interpreters and on-the-fly closed captioning (which was excellent, by the way) simultaneously available. Upon realizing the presenters would not be arriving, a few intrepid leaders took the mic and suggested we use the time anyway, offering to tap into the collective wisdom in the room. What followed was an inspiring and truly remarkable session, full of ideas, insights, and an amazing sense of community and solidarity. As we all began to realize what a gift…

Uncategorized

Celebrating Our Differences

We are all different, and that’s okay.  I say this statement out loud at minimum once a month, usually when confronted with the unsavory news about banned and challenged books, book burnings, etc.; activities that are, at best, seriously misguided attempts to protect young minds from being exposed to topics deemed to be above their maturity level. The empath in me is always seeking to fully understand and walk in the proverbial shoes of someone else. However, the more I peruse the list of challenged titles, the more confused I become. Our country is a gumbo of cultures enhanced by the lived experiences and traditions of diverse people whose uniqueness adds flavor to our Americanness.  Just as there is no such thing as a one ingredient recipe, neither should there be the promotion and elevation of one singular story. To say that there is not room for more than one…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Overwhelmed by : Diversity Audits

overwhelmed by books

Serving marginalized and underserved communities is multi-pronged. One prong is through a literary perspective where collections reflect the communities we are trying to serve, whether they step foot into the library or not. Diversity audits. We know them; we respect the reasons for them. And the very thought of them is almost debilitating. A diversity audit is a count of titles to see what percentage of your collection is what. What percentage of your collection features white cis protagonists? What percentage of the collections features people who are a member of the LGBTQIA+ community or portrays body neutrality? Auditing your collection can provide great data to help you answer questions like, “What percentage of my collection features characters who are Native/ First Nation/ Indigenous?” A deeper audit may answer the question, “What percentage of my collection features characters who are native that aren’t historical?”  To collect this information, many libraries…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Hispanic Heritage Month: Guided by our Leaders

Hispanic Heritage Month Continues! First, though, I always like to explain the “why”.  Why, Jonathan must we celebrate this every year? Here’s a quote for you that encapsulates the “why” the best, IMHO: Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15 every year.  More than a time to celebrate the contributions of Hispanic Americans, this is a time to celebrate the continued inclusion of diverse materials into your everyday programming.  Inclusion does not have to be like hiding the pill.  As a matter of fact, it should never feel forced.  If it does not feel genuine to you, it will come across that way to your audience.  So, how to proceed?  Where do you seek inspiration or than this amazing blog? Inspiration from Leaders The 2018 Estela & Raúl Mora Award winners were announced just a few days ago.  What better way to explore your options than to draw inspiration…

Blogger Nina Lindsay

Intellectual Freedom and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

It is summer, and my libraries have been slinging lunches along with fun. We’ve been doing it for years, and it’s been hard for me to describe exactly why serving lunch in the library feels so right; until I read Mack Freedman’s post on Libraries and Summer Food Programs at ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom blog this May.   It had never occurred to me to look at food service through an Intellectual Freedom lens, but he points out accurately that these programs “enable a level of access to the library’s services that would otherwise be unavailable due to the effects that hunger can have on learning and involvement.” So I was glad to see ALA Council adopt Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Interpretations to the Library Bill of Rights at Annual conference.  It provides a framework for exploring why we provide the services we do in the way we do,…