A Diversity & Cultural Literacy Toolkit

A list of videos, articles, and other resources to help librarians be more culturally literate.

The following is a list of recommended resources, including articles, videos, and other content, used in our various in-person and virtual training sessions and workshops on diversity and cultural literacy for librarians. This list is by no means comprehensive; it represents a starting place for further exploration, reflection, and discussion. And while some of the resources are geared specifically to folks selecting or evaluating material for children and teens, the vast majority of the content is applicable to librarians or educators working with students or patrons of any age—from birth to senior citizens. This list was originally compiled as a supplemental resource for workshop or course participants, but it can also serve as the first step in self-directed learning around issues of cultural competence. We invite our community of readers to add their own go-to resources in the comments section.


Image from Lee & Low's Diversity in Publishing 2015 survey results.

The Danger of a Single Story TED talk by Chimamanda Adichie

Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop's Windows, Mirrors, and Sliding Glass Doors (1990).

Lee & Low Diversity Baseline Survey (2015)

Publishing Statistics on Children's Book about People of Color and First/Native Nations... from the Cooperative Children's Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Diversity Gap in Children's Books by Lee & Low

Picture This: Reflecting Diversity in Children's Book Publishing by Sarah Dahlen Park

Diversity in Publishing Doesn't Exist—But Here's How It Can by Chris Jackson via Literary Hub

Why Publishing Is So White by Rachel Deahl, with reporting by Anisse Gross, Claire Kirch, Diane Patrick, and Judith Rosen via Publishers Weekly

"The Gayest Generation" (2017 GLAAD study shows that 20% of Millennials identify as LGBTQ, the highest of any generation in American history.



When You're Invisible, Every Representation Matters by Native Appropriations

Disability Tropes via Disability in Kidlit blog

Contesting Ideology in Children's Book Reviewing by Dr. Debbie Reese (page 37)

What Are Microaggressions? from Derald Wing Sue

A Visual Representation of Everyday Microaggressions We're a Culture, Not a Costume PSA campaign from Ohio University

Accuracy or Bias? On Prejudicial Characters in Children's Literature and Beyond by Justina Ireland via Book Riot

"Kids Steal a Bike" (YouTube video from "Would Would You Do" episode highlighting how people reacted to young people of different races and genders "stealing" a bicycle in public)


National Association of Black Journalists Style Guide

National Center on Disability and Journalism Style Guide

Writing About Persons with Disabilities

National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association Stylebook

Society of Professional Journalists Diversity Toolbox


Doing a YA Diversity Audit (Part 1) by Karen Jensen via the Teen Librarian Toolbox blog

Guide for Selecting Anti-Bias Children's Books via Social Justice Books: A Teaching for Change Project

Reviewing Through a Diverse Lens: Keynote Lecture by K.T. Horning The DIG (Diverse and Inclusive Growth) Checklist for evaluating digital media from KIDMAP

Evaluating a Collection for Bias and Stereotypes with Primary Students: A Case Study, Tools, and Tips by Maisha Sport and Liz Phipps Soeiro

Diverse Book Finder (Bates College)


Anti-Oppression Guide from Simmons Library, Simmons College, created by Stacy Collins, Research and Instruction Librarian

Anti-Bias Framework for Teaching from Teaching Tolerance

A Collection of Resources for Teaching Social Justice from Cult of Pedagogy

Words Matter: Owning and Learning from Our Mistakes by Jamie Naidoo, from the ALSC blog

See also: Resource Roundup: Teaching and Curriculum Supports on Antibias and Social Justice

Educators Must Mind Tone Policing by Edith Campbell


Activity for Exploring the Bennett Model of Cultural Competency from State University of New York, University at Albany, School of Social Welfare

"Identity Signs" from the Safe Zone Project

"Privilege Beads" from Difference Matters

Microaggression Activity from Breaking the Prejudice Habit

Discussing Race With Young Kids by Rachel G. Payne and Jessica Ralli


Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work For Racial Justice by Paul Kivel. 4th ed. New Society. ISBN 9780865718654.

Was the Cat in the Hat Black?: The Hidden Racism of Children's Literature, and the Need for Diverse Books by Philip Nel. Oxford Univ. ISBN 9780190635077.

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo. Seal Press. ISBN 9781580056779.

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo. Beacon Pr. June 2018. ISBN 9780807047415.

Recommended Booklists

12 Picture Books That Showcase Native Voices by Debbie Reese

27 Middle Grade and YA Latinx Books... by Shelley Diaz

25 LGBTQIA+ Titles... by Kent Turner

This toolkit is an evolving document. We encourage you to add your own recommended resources in the comments. The editors will periodically update the above list with new content.

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Myra Zarnowski

Thank you for this extremely useful collection of resources. I look forward to delving into it and sharing it with my undergraduate and graduate students.

Posted : Mar 10, 2018 05:46

Traci Cope

Wow! This is such an impressive collection of articles and information, all in one place and clearly organized. Thank you so much for taking the time to cull so many quality resources. I am Looking forward to diving into this reading and furthering my education. I passed it on to a group of folks at my school who are also working on these things. Thank you!

Posted : Mar 10, 2018 09:35



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