Building More Diverse Collections for Younger Readers
Bliss, Joanna Russell
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Research has shown that children exposed to diverse books, especially those that have cross-racial groups, have better acceptance of children of other ethnicities as compared to those not exposed to diverse books. This has been a focus of public and school libraries for some time, as seen in the We Need Diverse Books program and other organizations advocating for diverse books in publishing, classrooms and libraries. Unfortunately, academic libraries and the role of their collections in training new educators has been largely absent in these conversations. With that in mind, a team of librarians at SMU Libraries analyzed our Juvenile Collection using the Diverse BookFinder suite of tools. We evaluated our current collection, recognized its strengths and gaps and are now using this analysis to improve our collection development practices. This presentation will take participants through how to use these tools and adapt them for an academic library context. Finally, we will discuss future opportunities of this initiative.