Magazine article American Libraries

Librarian's Library: Understanding Diversity

Magazine article American Libraries

Librarian's Library: Understanding Diversity

Article excerpt

This isn't the column I wanted to write. Inquiries from the field in the days following the June 17 church shootings in Charleston, South Carolina, changed my direction and sent me to the stacks to see what recent material may assist librarians who are asked for reading suggestions to enhance understanding of diversity or who are tasked with developing community programming on this complex topic.

Even if we would like, we cannot know every book in our collection; nor is it likely that we will know the reading interests of every patron. How then do we advise those looking for reading suggestions* Crash Course in Readers' Advisory, by Cynthia Orr, reviews the basics of readers' advisory services, starting with a restatement of two of Ranganathan's laws: "Every reader, his or her book. Every book, its reader." Following an overview of the importance of stories, the impact of reading, and tips for understanding the reader, the literature, and genres currently in vogue, Orr offers guidance on working with people and tips for identifying books to suggest. There are extensive lists of resources, both on readers' advisory services and the tools for winnowing through the literature to find the right book or group of books to incorporate into a programmatic offering.

INDEXED. LIBRARIES UNLIMITED, 2015.173 P. S45. PBK. 978-1-61069-825-2 (ALSO AVAILABLE AS AN EBOOK.)

Many readers' advisory tools are geared to children. Coretta Scott King Award Books Discussion Guide: Pathways to Democracy and The Coretta Scott King Awards, 1970-2014. fifth edition, both edited by Carole J. McCollough and Adelaide Poniatowski Phelps, are no exception. These books provide a wealth of information about books, authors, and illustrators who have won this award over the past 45 years. The discussion guide in particular takes an in-depth look at many titles, offering summaries, discussion openers, some leading questions and activities for follow-up, and books for further discussion. The books are grouped by age range, and each has been selected to open conversation on a core democratic value, such as the pursuit of happiness, justice, and equality. The award winners are a rich resource of fiction, historical fiction, poetry, and nonfiction.

INDEXED. …

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