Can you ever have enough information on collection development? No way! Find resources on building a diverse youth collection below.

WLA YSS Sessions in Short: Diversify Me! – YSS Blog Post November 7, 2017

Jenni Frencham, YSS Member and Youth Services Director at the Columbus Public Library, presented an excellent and informative session called “Diversify Me! Incorporating Diverse Titles into Your Collections, Displays and Programming.” It was an ideal follow-up to this year’s preconference and was also an outstanding example of how to implement diversity in the library right now.

Here is a link to the slides and here is a link to the handout she shared from Children and Libraries Fall 2015 issue on “Awards that Celebrate Diversity in Children’s Literature” compiled by Laura Schulte-Cooper. Both will be posted on the WLA Conference Program Handouts page in the near future.

Jenni described ways to do a shelf audit to see how many diverse titles are already in your collection, reminders to include diversity in your program publicity and flyers, bias in holiday collections, including books with diverse characters in Storytimes, incorporating diversity into passive readers advisory, and other practical tips.

Author: Sarah Cournoyer

Diverse Books and BadgerLink – WI Libraries Are For Everyone Blog Post December 12, 2017.

As discussions about personalized learning and equity become more prevalent in education, librarians are reminded to consider the inclusivity of their collections. As you consider adding diverse selections, BadgerLink is a fabulous tool for selecting new titles.

NoveList and NoveList K-8

NoveList and NoveList K-8 are fiction recommendation resources. You can search by keyword, terms of appeal, reading level, author’s cultural identity, as well as books with diverse characters.

Using the Advanced Search feature in NoveList or NoveList K-8 you can search by subject, genre, or appeal factor. Here are some search examples of things you can find.

Is one of your library users looking for a book about friendship that have characters with a variety of abilities?

Advanced Search screenshot: Appeal Factor ability diverse, Subject friendship

What if your patron comes in asking for a book featuring someone with Down syndrome?

Advanced Search Screenshot: Subject down syndrome, Subject friendship

Maybe your book club is looking for a great book to discuss at your next meeting. A search for culturally diverse and character driven will give your book club plenty to talk about!

Advanced Search screenshot: Appeal Factors culturally diverse, Appeal Factors character,driven

Looking for books with African American characters for your story time? Try this search.

Advanced Search screenshot: Subject african american, Genre picture books

Try mixing and matching these search terms:

SU Subject

  •  Multiracial
  •  African American
  •  Asian American
  •  Autism
  •  Learning Disabilities
  •  Jewish Americans
  •  Interfaith families
  •  Interethnic relations

GN Genre

  •  LGBTQIA fiction
  •  Multicultural romances

AP Appeal Factors

  •  Ability diverse
  •  Culturally diverse
  •  LGBTQIA diverse
  •  Religiously diverse

For future reference, BadgerLink has added some training guides to help you find fiction books with diverse characters! Find these materials and more on the BadgerLink Training page:

Finding Book Reviews

Once you find book titles, you may want to read a book review to determine if the book is appropriate for your collection.

BadgerLink has put together a video tutorial to walk you through how to search for book reviews!

You can find the video on the BadgerLink YouTube playlist or on the Training page. Here is a direct link to the Finding Book Review video.

Other Resources

Here are a couple other recommended online resources to explore.

Cooperative Children’s Book Center

The Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) is a unique examination, study and research library of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is committed to identifying excellent literature for children and adolescents. The CCBC is well known for their Annual Statistics on Multicultural Literature in Publishing, which provides statistics on authors and illustrators of children’s books that are by or about people of color and first/native nations published in the United States.

We Need Diverse Books

We Need Diverse Books™ is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and a grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people.

Social Justice Books is a project of Teaching for Change, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide teachers and parents with the tools to create schools where students learn to read, write and change the world. Social Justice Books offers more than 50 book lists, book reviews, and recommend articles on multicultural children’s literature.