A Place at the Table Conversation

May 21, 2014 — 1 Comment

I recently helped plan and facilitate a “Place at the Table” conversation sponsored by Children’s Book Council and Children’s Books Boston as part of Children’s Book Week. Below are the questions that I posed to the librarians, publishing professionals, educators and booksellers who attended. The conversations were rich and I would love to continue them virtually. Feel free to add your thoughts to this important dialogue about inclusion.

1. Why is it important that children have access to books with diversity content (ability, age, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic class)?

2. What are the barriers for diversity books that may prevent them from getting into reader’s hands?

3. What are some solutions, strategies, or conversations to help shift the barriers to getting these books into the hands of children? (Think about your industry.)

4. Who has access to power in your field? Which voices are denied access? Why?

5. How can we educate the gatekeepers in your industry? Or what do they need to know or believe to create bookshelves that reflect our population?

6. How can your industry promote and reward excellence as it pertains to inclusive literature?

If you are interested in reading more about the actual event, check out Horn Book’s post or the article in Publisher’s Weekly. 

And stay tuned to learn about some of the action steps people committed to taking to create change in their spheres of influence.

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One response to A Place at the Table Conversation

  1. 

    I have always been lead to understand that publishing houses eager to generate sales create a bottleneck for books that provide critical mirrors for so many students, and empathy building windows for others. What do we need to do to generate demand for books that reflect the diversity of our world so that Publishers have a financial motive to underwrite such books?

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