Shake Up Your Shelves
Here's another book-related New Year's Resolution idea for you! Set a goal to diversify your reading. Not by genre (mystery, fantasy) or format (graphic novel, narrative nonfiction). Do it with diversity and inclusion in mind.
"With diverse books, teachers and librarians have an opportunity to help young people understand themselves and others. We encourage you to look critically at the books you’re sharing with your students and patrons. SHAKE UP YOUR SHELVES by retiring books that are offensive or outdated, and by adding titles that reflect the experiences of more underrepresented groups." This is the opening statement in a great resource from HarperStacks. Access the website to find book lists and educator guides that target inclusive book selections. And take a look at their YouTube channel for short videos featuring some of the best authors writing for today's youth.
Penguin Classroom has partnered with #disrupttexts to create an educator's guide for 8 titles that align with their 4 core principles. Disrupt Texts is a crowdsourced, grass roots effort by teachers for teachers to challenge the traditional canon in order to create a more inclusive, representative, and equitable language arts curriculum that our students deserve.
The Black Caucus of the American Library Association (2020 is their 50th Anniversary year!) has put together an amazing book list called Community, Connecting, Cultivating & Constructing Conversations Through Literacy.
Brightly also offers a wonderful resource. How to Diversify Your Child's Bookshelves offers valuable insight on analyzing kid lit as you read outside your comfort zone. It also serves as a portal to further important resources, such as We Need Diverse Books.
And last, but most definitely NOT least, you have a group of dedicated librarians at your disposal! We have been working hard to curate an inclusive collection, and we've been educating ourselves by reading those books. So the next time you're at Hoover Publilc Library, ask for a recommendation. We're happy to help!