Does your child’s school library have a diversity gap? What about your child’s classroom library?

diversity gap

The Cultural Diversity Gap in Children’s Books

As far as book publishing goes, in this country we have been doing very poorly in this regard. Based on the data presented below, in 2012 roughly 37% of children were people of color and yet only 10% of children’s books contained multicultural content.

The Diversity Gap in Children

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

Involving Students and Families in the Conversation

We can do better. To address this problem at my school, I am proposing families and students work with our school literacy coaches and school librarian to launch a campaign to examine the diversity in our school and classroom library collections.

Conducting a Library Inventory is a great way to involve parents and students in the conversation about cultural diversity at your school. I am hoping that in doing so we can be start a conversation among students, teachers and parents about increasing the visibility of diverse cultural groups in our school book collections.

For 4th and 5th grade students, I think this could be a great way to involve kids in thinking about representation and the importance of celebrating and learning about diverse cultures. While they do this, they can also learn meaningful research and writing skills to publish their results as kids did in this great Lego campaign shown at left.

What will our Library Audit reveal? What conversations will come out of this exercise? I’ll keep you posted!

How are you ensuring that people of color are visible in your children’s libraries: whether they be school library, neighborhood public library or classroom library? What recommendations do you have to share?

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About alimcollins

Ali Collins is an educator, community organizer and mom. She lives with her husband and twin girls in San Francisco, CA.

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