In this guest post, librarian Alexandria Brown discusses the issues with labeling books as “diverse” and other ways we can build and promote a more equitable library collection.
Every so often, the question of whether or not to add a spine label designating “diverse” books makes the rounds. Many condemn the practice, but lots of library staff persist in labeling. Like most diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) issues in librarianship, many of my colleagues are still operating within a white (and cisgender and heterosexual) supremacist framework. It is an understandable predicament to be in – after all, many library degree programs are not as strong as they could be in advocating for DEI and decolonization. So let’s examine the question of diversity labeling and see if we can’t get to a better understanding of why it’s problematic.
Thank you for joining us for our webinar, “Representation Matters: Strategies for Building an Inclusive Bookshelf.” If you missed it live (or just want to watch again), you can access the webinar here. Keep reading for links to the resources and books that were shared during the webinar.
How do we build a book collection that reflects our children, our values, and our world? In difficult times, books offer an important outlet to young people—but making the right books available is essential. If you’ve ever wondered how to take action in diversifying your library but don’t know how or where to start, you’re not alone.
Join us for a webinar on Tuesday, August 18th at 4:00 PM EDT as we walk through some of the steps to creating a truly inclusive collection. We will use our newly updated Questionnaire as a guide for identifying gaps in our shelves, and share resources for finding and evaluating diverse books. We are also proud to announce the launch of a Spanish version of the questionnaire just in time for the start of the school year.