[kids-lib] Does your collection truly reflect youth in your community?

Katie Anderson katie.anderson at state.or.us
Tue Jun 25 12:11:33 PDT 2013

These three items in the news got me thinking about multicultural collection development for children and teens. Below are some of the questions these three news items brought to my mind.

*         As Demographics Shift, Kids' Books Stay Stubbornly White (listen/read the story<http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2013/06/25/193174358/as-demographics-shift-kids-books-stay-stubbornly-white?utm_medium=Email&utm_source=share&utm_campaign=>)

*         A Few Observations on Publishing in 2012 (read the essay about the report<http://www.education.wisc.edu/ccbc/books/choiceintro13.asp>)

*         See Baby Discriminate (read article<http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2009/09/04/see-baby-discriminate.html>)

What percentage of our young patrons are black, Asian, Latino, and Native American?

*         Use American FactFinder<http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml> to find out.

What percentage of books in our children's and teen collections feature main characters who are black, Asian, Latino, and Native American?

Why is providing culturally diverse literature important to the education and development of youth in your community?

*         "According to from the Census Bureau, nearly half of today's children under 5 years old are non-white."

*         "...children today are told, 'You can be anything.' But if they don't see themselves in the story, I think, as they get older, they're going to question, 'Can I really?' "

*         "If [children] don't see [themselves] then perhaps they lose interest," Nelson says. "They don't think there's anything in books about them or for them."

But, what about white children?

*         "...it is also important for white children to see characters of different races. 'Not only do they learn to appreciate the differences,' she explains, 'but I think they learn to see the sameness, and so those other cultures are less seen as others.'"

*         "Right now, the vast majority of best-selling children's books are by and about white people... [and] publishers are going to respond to what the market demands." (i.e. Good books by and about white people aren't at risk of becoming under-represented anytime soon.)

How do we select multicultural books?
Here are a few books I know about that are available for you to check out from the State Library, please "reply all" to share other multicultural collection development resources you know about.

*         If you would like to request these or other materials from the Oregon State Library please use your library's established interlibrary loan process or send your full name, the name of your library, complete title information, shipping address, and a phone number to the document delivery department at library.request at state.or.us<mailto:library.request at state.or.us> or (fax) 503-588-7119.

*         Naidoo, J.C. & Dahlen, S.P. (2013). Diversity in Youth Literature: Opening Doors Through Reading. Chicago, IL: American Library Association.

*         Knowles, L. & Smith, M. (2007). Understanding diversity through novels and picture books. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

*         East, K. & Thomas, R.L. (2007). Across cultures: A guide to multicultural literature for children. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

*         Naidoo, J.C. (2011). Celebrating Cuentos: Promoting Latino Children's Literature and Literacy in Classrooms and Libraries. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited. 978-1-59158-904-4.

*         Alire, C. & Ayala, J. (2008). Serving Latino communities: A how-to-do-it manual for librarians (2nd ed.).
New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers.

*         Cuban, S. (2007). Serving new immigrant communities in the library. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited

*         Wadham, T. (2007). Libros esenciales: Building, marketing, and programming a core collection of Spanish language children's materials. Neal-Schuman Publishers.

In a hurry?
Here are just a few multicultural booklists (bibliographies) I know about, please "reply all" to share other multicultural booklists you know about.

*         Cooperative Children's Book Center: http://www.education.wisc.edu/ccbc/books/detailListBooks.asp?idBookLists=42

*         Reading is Fundamental: http://www.rif.org/us/literacy-resources/booklists/multicultural-books.htm

*         A World of Difference: http://archive.adl.org/bibliography/bfc_book_categorization.asp#findingbooks

Where can we find multicultural books?
Here are a few sources I know about, please "reply all" to share other sources of multicultural books you know about.

*         Cinco Puntos: http://www.cincopuntos.com/index.sstg

*         Lee & Low Book: http://www.leeandlow.com/

*         Shen's Books: http://www.leeandlow.com/

*         HarperCollins: Amistad: http://www.harpercollins.com/imprints/index.aspx?imprintid=518006

How can we talk directly about race with children and teens through library programs and services? Please "reply all" to share your ideas.

Katie Anderson, Library Development Services
* Youth Services Consultant * Oregon Center for the Book Coordinator *
Oregon State Library, 250 Winter St. NE, Salem, OR 97301
katie.anderson at state.or.us<mailto:katie.anderson at state.or.us>, 503-378-2528

[cid:image003.jpg at 01CE4751.8A8D6B50]<http://www.oregon.gov/osl/LD/Pages/youthsvcs/oregon.srp.certificate.aspx>
Summer Reading 2013 at Oregon libraries<http://libdir.osl.state.or.us/>!
Find a summer food site<http://www.summerfoodoregon.org/>.

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