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Posts Tagged ‘diversity’

May/June Public Libraries

Diversity in Public Libraries Strategies for Achieving a More Representative Workforce

This lack of diversity has been lamented as a problem for decades, yet in spite of efforts to increase the diversity of the library workforce, there has been minimal progress. Much has been written about how to increase diversity in libraries, including suggestions for improving every step of the process from library and information science education, to hiring and retaining a more diverse workforce, to developing diverse collections and library programs. Libraries are not the only work setting that faces a problem with diversity. However, given that the public library is a forum that serves a variety of communities and interests, it is critical to develop a public library workforce that more accurately reflects the diverse backgrounds that public libraries serve.

child reading

Libraries Need Diverse Books

As much as I love my local library, it has become predictable in its timing and placement of diverse books. In February, I can always count on seeing a large selection of books promoting Black History Month. Many of these titles I’ve never seen throughout the year, but because it’s Black History Month, there they all are, standing proud, front and center. The same is true for National Hispanic Month from mid-September to mid-October, Asian Pacific American month in May, and American Indian Heritage month in November. For the other eight months of the year, the displays are filled with the usual books featuring white characters or happy-friendly animals.

Dr. Carla Hayden Nominated for Librarian of Congress

If confirmed, this will be a tremendous first for female librarians and librarians of color.

St. Paul Public Library Publishes Picture Books

The St. Paul Public Library in Minnesota is proving that the public library is one of the most valuable places in town, especially for an under-represented immigrant population — the Karen. In December, mayor Chris Coleman announced that the library had curated and published two Karen language children’s books, which were then handed out at a special book launch and read at a December storytime.

diverse people standing around a globe

ALA Addressing Systemic Racism in the Library

Providing equal access to all library patrons is an essential component of every library’s mandate. In fact, the ALA Mission Statement asserts that librarians must “ensure access to information for all.” With that in mind, the ALA Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion hosted a workshop at ALA Midwinter on how librarians can become more aware of and even work against systemic racism: “If I Hadn’t Believed It, I Wouldn’t Have Seen It: Exploring Systemic Racism and Its Implications for Our Lives and Work.”

team

Leading Tolerance

Back when I was in school settings, first as teacher and later as librarian, I greatly adored the publication Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center. When I left educational institutions and entered the public library system, my commitment to issues of diversity, equality, and justice remained strong. Over the years in the public library, I have struggled with how to continue to “teach tolerance” while not in the role of “teacher.” I have tried to pursue these values in different ways for not only the public but also for the staff and my library board. For my community, I have engaged these concepts through collection development, displays, and programming. For staff, I have provided both formal professional development opportunities and informal discussion on the distinctions between difference and danger. For the library board, I’ve crafted policy to support these values and explained the importance of being conscious of these issues and implementing policy.

teens using a computer

The Future of Library Services for and with Teens

As you look around libraryland, you’ll see quite a bit about 21st century libraries, services, and 21st century literacies. In 2014, after a yearlong forum, the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) released the report, The Future of Library Services for and with Teens: A Call to Action, which specifically addresses 21st century teens and their needs.[1]

colorful handprints

“We Need Diverse Books” Campaign Gaining Momentum

If you work with children’s books and go online, there’s no way you can miss the colorful logo of the “We Need Diverse Books” (WNDB) campaign, which launched in 2014. What started as a tweet between creators Malinda Lo and Ellen Oh has turned into a grassroots movement that has bloggers, authors, librarians, and publishers getting involved and addressing the need for diverse characters and narratives in children’s literature.

woman with globe

A Library Can Say Hello in Almost Any Language

When challenged with serving New York City’s most linguistically diverse borough, the Queens Library in New York City has flourished instead and created a mosaic that celebrates the Queens community’s wonderful multiculturalism.

Library Kids

Can Children See Themselves in the Books on Your Shelves? Part II

Children look for themselves in the books that they read. Libraries need to have books that represent the rainbow of diverse cultures that are in our communities. Books that promote diversity should be celebrated every day, not just on holidays.

Library Kids

Can Children See Themselves in the Books on Your Shelves? Part I

Children look for themselves in the books that they read. Libraries need to have books that represent the rainbow of diverse cultures that are in our communities. Books that promote diversity should be celebrated every day, not just on holidays.