Back to the two articles; both are on the topic of making sure that you offer diverse suggestions-- meaning not only books by white dudes.
The first is an ongoing series that recently began on Booklist Reader called Five More to Go. You can use this link to access everything in the series at any time.
Here is the premise:
Introducing our newest feature, in which we give Booklist critics the opportunity to shout about a recently published book they adored. They’ll tell us why we should read it, then provide five read-alikes for the title.These lists have been about popular "Own Voices" titles and the readalikes are also diverse. There are already three posts up with more planned. Bookmark this link to pull up the entire series and to find easy resources for inclusive displays and suggestions.
But those posts only cover a current hot title and then present 5 readalikes. A question I get often is where to find more resources to identify inclusive titles in general. Well, thankfully MA librarians Anna Mickelsen and Alene Moroni have been working on this exact question and have compiled a working document of diverse titles which they presented at the New England Library Association Conference.
Susan Maguire, the editor of Corner Shelf, interviewed Anna and Alene in the issue, in a piece entitled "Diversify Your RA." This interview includes more links and tips from Anna and Alene and you can click through to read the entire piece, but I pulled out this response by Anna because it needs to be repeated as many times as possible:
Anna: The overall message that we want attendees to take away is that diverse books are for everyone. We talk about intersectionality and not making assumptions about patrons. We review common excuses we’ve heard for not purchasing inclusively, then dispatch them ruthlessly. For example: “We don’t have [x people] in our community” and “Those books don’t circulate.” We provide lots of opportunities for our audience to comment and ask questions, and we work to promote a cooperative session where we all have a chance to learn.
The purpose of the presentation was to make it difficult for other white library workers to pretend that inclusive and representative books—in a variety of genres—are hard to find. The presentation featured a dazzling array of book covers, and our giveaways made the books tangible. The purpose of the list was to give attendees, as well as those who couldn’t be present, something to take away and to make it easier for librarians to locate and purchase recently released and forthcoming titles. We also hope it will help straight, cis, white, able-bodied library workers broaden their awareness of diverse authors.This is a message-- that diverse books are NOT hard to find and ARE for EVERY reader- is one that I also work hard to spread here on the blog and in my appearances across the country. Alene and Anna do not exaggerate when they say elsewhere in their interview that many library workers make excuses as to why they aren't suggesting, buying, or displaying diverse titles-- I have unfortunately seen it in person and receive emails all of the time from people who are asking me for help to get this message heard at their places of work.
Please listen and help us spread this important message. Start by reading Susan's interview with Anna and Alene right now. And then start diversifying your RA immediately.