Blog Roll Call: Diversity in YA Literature, a list of resources to help librarians diversify their shelves
When I talk about doing a diversity audit, one of the first questions I get asked is how I know whether or not a book is diverse. There is no easy answer that does not involve doing a small amount of research. Though over time, because I tend to deal exclusively with YA, I gain a pretty good knowledge of the literature. I also make sure that I spend time visiting blogs that focus on diversity and following diverse authors, librarians and hashtags on social media. Here are a few of the ones that I follow.
Blogs That Promote Diversity and Inclusion
Librarian Debbie Reese talks specifically about American Indians in Children’s Literature and challenges librarians to think about Native American representation in the books that we place on our shelves. Reese will give very specific discussions about titles and share why the representation concerns her and gives enthusiastic recommendations of titles that she feels represents Native American life well.
The Brown Bookshelf has one primary goal: to raise awareness of the various black voices that are writing for young readers.
The CBC Diversity initiative was founded in 2012, as part of the Children’s Book Council’s commitment to promoting diverse voices in literature for young people. They discuss specific titles.
This former school librarian works tirelessly to advocate for promoting literacy in teens of color. I follow her on Twitter as well as reading her blog and have learned a lot.
Leitich-Smith is a Native American author who promotes the works of other Native American authors.
Provides a variety of book lists and reviews.
Focuses on Latinos in children’s and YA literature.
Shares reviews and book lists of LGBTQAI+ books.
Focuses on reading and reviewing books about and by people from marginalized groups.
A plethora of resources that talk about diversity in children’s and YA lit. They also have a great blog roll here that you should check out.
This initiative works hard to diversify publishing and is a great resource for book reviews and book lists.
Originally called Gay YA, this blog changed their name recently to be more inclusive of the entire LGBTQIA+ spectrum. It’s a great place to visit for book lists and reviews.
Diversity and Inclusions Hashtags
Publishers That Focus on Diversity
Some Additional Sources
This is by no means an exhaustive list. For example, you will notice that it lacks any type of religious diversity, which is a gap that I hope to fill. So please share your recommendations with me in the comments.
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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