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.
In this guest blog post, educator Cindy Jenson-Elliott of the Nativity Prep Academy describes how she used Todos iguales/All Equal as an inspiration for her classroom’s social justice comic book project.
As a teacher in San Diego’s only free private school for resource-challenged, first-generation college-bound students, I have the privilege of working at a school focused on social justice. Most of our students are English-language learners, and their parents have come to this country seeking a better life for their children. As a staff, we look for positive stories that teach about social change that comes through individual responsibility and action. The book Todos Iguales/All Equal: Un Corrido de Lemon Grove/A Ballad of Lemon Grove by Christy Hale, uses corridos, ballads of social justice, to tell the story of the Lemon Grove Incident. In Todos Iguales/All Equal, Mexican-American parents successfully challenged the Lemon Grove school district’s policy of segregating Mexican-American from white children in 1930. It is a powerful story not only because students’ families around our nation continue to face discrimination today, but because parents stood up for their children’s rights against a powerful system and won. Continue reading
In this guest blog post, educator Lindsay Barrett discusses the power and importance in having diverse books and mentors. Jill Eisenberg, director of curriculum and literacy strategy at Lee & Low Books, also discusses the role of diverse books in mentoring programs for developing readers. This blog post first appeared on Reading Partners.
In this guest post, Rona K. Wolfe, Junior Kindergarten Teacher at the Milwaukee Jewish Day School, explores methods of teaching her kindergarten students about the experiences of refugees around the world.
As a kindergarten teacher, I wanted to expose my students to global experiences. What does that look like in a class with our youngest students? After careful thought, I wanted the young children in my class at the Milwaukee Jewish Day School to learn about the difficulties and experiences of refugees living in our community.
Today we are pleased to share this guest post from Librarian and Diversity Coordinator Laura Reiko Simeon on the power of book covers.