PROFESSIONAL READING

Increase Diversity in Your School Library Collection and Program: A Comprehensive Guide to Creating Diverse and Dynamic K—12 Library Programs

126p. illus. index. photos. Positive Push. Aug. 2017. pap. $14.95. ISBN 9780979835865.
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This self-published guide contains some helpful ideas for media specialists who aren't sure where to begin efforts to improve their library's cultural relevance; unfortunately, errors and inconsistencies detract from its usefulness. Veteran school librarian Easley takes an appropriately holistic approach, advocating for addressing the social identities and needs of students not only via materials selection and events planning but also by rethinking policies and services. Strategies for programming and reader engagement are sound, as are suggestions for blogs and websites to follow for finding diverse books. However, the sheer breadth of topics sometimes results in a lack of clarity; a section on fund-raising, for instance, glosses over the complexities of this topic. The section "Diverse Collection Classification" raises intriguing ideas related to accessibility and classification systems, but it contains an odd, potentially confusing pairing of text and images. Booklists include cover images only for works published by Lee & Low Books, and several titles or annotations have typos or are incomplete. Although the message of support for LGBTQAI+ students is clear, there is awkward phrasing around sex and gender (for instance, the terms same-gender parental units and both genders). Other sections have limited use, such as a holiday calendar that gives exact dates for religious observances that change annually.
VERDICT A supplemental purchase on a high-interest topic.

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