This summer our program for children is Rainbow Readers, a celebration of reading and sharing books we love.
Last Sunday the intersection between that program and our planned White Supremacy Teach-In took us to the true story of Marley Dias and #1000blackgirlbooks. Taking our cue from Marley, we then set out to sort and determine how diverse our own OUUC children’s book collection is.
The sorting process meant kids looked through books, and debated what diversity they saw in the books. Is a book about an African American girl right for the Gender pile or the Black People pile? The system we were using was imperfect!
Nonetheless, we found some interesting results:
- The biggest pile by far was of books that didn’t have people in them! Books that were either about nature or had animal characters or completely made up imaginary beings form the majority of our collection.
- We have a lot of books about religion/s for kids. That’s probably not surprising.
- While we do have many books showing diverse skin colors, we still have a very tall pile of books that only have white people in them. Asian and Latino people were the least represented in our collection.
- We do not have anywhere near enough books that feature diversity in ability, sexual orientation, or gender.
I’ll be shopping/accepting donations with those results in mind as I add more books to the collection.
Want to bring more diversity into your home library and reading?
- Diversify/Audit Your Bookshelf
- How to Really Read Racist Books to Your Kids
- We Need Diverse Books
- Diverse Summer Reading List for Kids