What world do your collections offer children?
That was the question I recently posed to librarians and other educators at the Massachusetts School Library Association Conference.
The workshop was specifically designed to help librarians examine their materials for bias and to give them the tools to build diverse collections.
But really all bookshelves, large or small, few or many, should be an inclusive representation of all the multiple ways of being.
There are four tools you need to build bookshelves that prepare children to be empathetic problem-solvers in a global world.
- IDENTIFY the audience or demographic.
- ANALYZE the collection /bookshelf for windows & mirrors, missing voices, and multiple perspectives.
- WEED out the Ds. These are books that are damaged, dated, don’t leave the shelf, and are discriminatory or stereotypical.
- GROW. Add books and other materials that provide windows & mirrors, that offer insights into many different experiences that show more than one view of a community. Scour resources that recommend inclusive, diverse, multicultural, and or anti-bias works. (Check back soon for an extensive but not exhaustive list to help you start).