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In October, we launched our free, online Collection Analysis Tool (CAT) -- funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services -- to help librarians across the nation diversify their bookshelves. A recent survey done by School Library Journal indicates that the majority of librarians feel it is "very important" to have a racially and ...continue reading "How to Gain Support for & Navigate Challenges to Diversifying Your Library’s Collection"

Since the launch of our free, online Collection Analysis Tool (CAT) in October – which can tell you which racial/cultural groups are represented and how they’re represented on your bookshelves or in your collection – we’ve received lots of great questions from users about our nine unique book categories. The CAT draws on those categories ...continue reading "Beautiful Life vs. Race/Culture Concepts: What’s the difference anyway?"

“All Hispanics are poor.” As a Hispanic woman and “millennial” born and raised in the U.S., I find this stereotype to be personally offensive. I have experienced and witnessed firsthand the harmful consequences of such beliefs. Yet, in my recent work as a research assistant with the Diverse BookFinder -- during which I took a ...continue reading "Representations of Latinx/Hispanic Characters in Children’s Picture Books"

My second grandchild and first granddaughter just arrived this month, and I have babies on the brain. So it’s delightful to notice that the last three years have birthed a wonderful batch of brand-new, beautiful picture books about babies, featuring characters who are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, & People of Color)! Two trends we’re cheering in ...continue reading "New Books for New Babies"

Books about going back to or starting school, like those in our first post, can tell stories about an exciting new adventure, an everyday event, or a rich experience of culture. Or, like the titles in this post geared toward older children, going to school books that feature Black and Indigenous people and People of ...continue reading "Back to School! Part II: Access, Equity & Inclusion"

It's September and children in North America -- and in many places around the world -- are headed off to school. Happily, there's a great diverse collection of books about that experience in which young students can see themselves reflected. In our first post, here are some delightful titles on three topics. First Day  These ...continue reading "Back to School! Part I"

My favorite bookshelf is in pieces — literally. Like a child’s Tinker Toy set waiting to be assembled, the shelf's parts lie in a bright red bin. One by one, librarians fit the scattered wooden dowels, blocks, sliders, and flats together until they form a home for 30 diverse picture books. Once those books are ...continue reading "August Shelfie: How to Start a Community Conversation with a Book About Immigration"

Since summertime is the perfect time to look back on a year’s worth of work, I’d like to reflect on the professional goal that I set for myself where I asked, “What if the picture books and picture book biographies I buy for my K-3 collection only featured characters of color?” I started this journey ...continue reading "An Experiment with Inclusive Literature, Part III: One White Elementary Librarian’s Endeavor to Diversify Her Picture Book Collection"

Picture book biographies and books that represent a social justice cause, with young people as the main characters, are powerful tools that allow younger children to identify injustices, develop empathy for others, and recognize their place in the world. One of the many reasons I love my job as an elementary school Library Teacher/Media Specialist ...continue reading "July Shelfie: Picture Books as Tools to Take a Stand"

We recently came across Ashley Fetters’ article, “Where Is the Black Blueberries for Sal?” (The Atlantic, May 2019), which addresses the dearth of Black characters within the very frequent exploration of the Great Outdoors in children's picture books. The article notes that there are, sadly, only a handful of books that defy this trend (all 4 titles mentioned appear ...continue reading "Where are the books about Black Kids in Nature?"
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