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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,…