Friday, May 2, 2014

My library HAS a diversity policy for the collection. Does yours?

There's this whole #weneeddiversebooks thing going on about needing more representations of people of all shades and stripes in kidlit, spearheaded by some  of our smart thought leaders. We know the kidlit world can be a overwhelmingly white, straight, Christian place, especially if you're not careful to be inclusive in your selection.

When I came to my current school, I was concerned that I was going to be working with a more homogenous group of kids. But it wasn't even *that* homogenous, and there was the loveliest thing built into our library policies specifying that, even though the community was demographically rather similar, we had the role of promoting diversity through the collection. When we got together to align all our policies across the district last year, we were sure to preserve that sentiment.

Here's the relevant passage:

from Selection Criteria for Library Media Materials....
Reflective of the pluralistic nature of a global society
Library media materials should provide a global perspective and promote diversity as a positive attribute of our society. It is important to include materials by authors and illustrators from many cultures.
Free of bias and stereotype
Materials should reflect the basic humanity of all people and be free of ideological bias. Library materials concerning religious, social, and political content should inform rather than indoctrinate.
Representative of multiple viewpoints on controversial subjects
Students have the right to information concerning controversial issues. Through access to a variety of resources, students will acquire the knowledge base to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills. The school library media center provides free and equitable access to a balanced body of information. 
Not that I wouldn't want more diverse stuff to order...USBBY really helps with that. And the pictures from the Oakland PL tumblr will melt your heart...

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