This Booklist contains recommended reads for teaching students about racism, tolerance, systemic injustice, and also books that just feature diverse people doing normal things. This will likely always be a work in progress as new books are always coming out. We have linked titles and authors to our SORA account.
Usually this page provides welcome comic relief in my librarian life. And while I understand that it is crucial that we stand up for justice and equality regardless of the lighthearted theme of this meme page, there has been so much pettiness and snark among the bright and educated people here that it saddens me to know that some of us are unable to use our potential as arbiters of social justice against the ignorance displayed by others.
Though I am fortunate enough to have the privilege of wearing my minority status on the inside, I understand how it feels to have my community crying out for justice and peace only to have the unhelpful few causing unnecessary tension within the ranks.
So, for the POC here, I want to link this post my assistant manager put up this morning. Some of us are funneling our outrage into making sure our communities know that our libraries are safe places and hubs of helpful and accurate information. We understand that it is not helpful to be petty or to indulge or to engage with trolls. We will walk beside you and shout out with dignity and conviction. And while we understand that we might not ever understand, we stand with you ❤️
Read the full School Library Journal article that goes along with the video.
From Jennifer LaGarde’s Instagram:
A Reading Ladder is a collection of books that has been curated for the purpose of scaffolding complex content - with each rung on the ladder representing a next step in understanding and connection. Reading Ladders are not my idea, they are the brainchild of Teri Lesesne whose book of the same title has been a goto resource for me for years. There are lots of wonderful book lists being circulated right now. I created this Reading Ladder as a resource for helping readers process and make sense of the Black Lives Matter movement and the protests that are going on right now in response to George Floyd’s murder.* There are 35 books in total on this list, all by black creators. I hope you find it useful.
Note: I’ve intentionally not used the hashtags associated with some of the content in this post in order to limit my contribution to the noise that makes it difficult for protestors to find the information they need in those feeds. I will, however, be using the hashtag #antiracistlibs in future posts in which I share content relating to libraries and antiracism. Feel free to join me there.
Additionally, here is a post containing a list of black owned bookstores. Should you choose to purchase any of the books from the Reading Ladder I created, I hope you’ll consider making those purchases from a store on this list.**
I created this resource to be used and shared. However, if you decide to create #readingladders of your own, please be sure to give Teri Lesesne a nod if you share them publicly. Thanks. #RU548
Libraries are not neutral. Throughout the course of history libraries have fought against censorship and for equitable access for all. We seek to ensure that all voices are recognized and represented. We hope to break down barriers to information and services so that all might benefit and be empowered to accomplish their goals.
We believe that everyone can learn and contribute. We believe that in learning about others, we can ultimately learn about ourselves, and hopefully find ways to live together and better understand one another. We believe we all have a duty to actively participate in society as informed citizens to collectively challenge and improve our country. We believe that educating ourselves about the legacy of racial injustice and how to begin dismantling detrimental systems that hold our country and its citizens back is part of this duty.
Your public library is committed to constructive conversation in support of advancing social equity through physical and virtual programming and the availability and access to materials and resources for all ages. We hope to provide materials, resources, and information, and encourage everyone to respect one another and to learn and grow together. We have compiled a list of excellent titles that we feel best represent this goal. Each of these titles with the exception of one were written by Black/POC authors. The one that is not is the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who covered the story of the Charleston Church Massacre. It is certainly not all-encompassing and there are countless other excellent titles that could have just as easily fit here. But it is a start, and we all must start somewhere if we are going to progress. We have several of these titles available for check out at our library and will be pulling them for our curbside browsing carts. If you have any other suggestions, please feel free to add to the list.
We see you. We hear you. We stand with you.
Thank you to all of our patrons, and please stay safe.
Below is a list of resources that are regularly updated so you will want to check them frequently.
The Conscious Kid is an education, research, and critical literacy organization dedicated to cultivating equity, uplifting counter-narratives, and supporting positive racial identity development in youth. The Conscious Kid works with schools, organizations and families to promote access to children’s books that center underrepresented groups. Follow us for more book recommendations and resources on parenting and education through a critical race lens:
This document was created to be used as a resource for anyone looking to broaden their understanding of anti-racism and get involved to combat racism, specifically as it relates to anti-Blackness and police violence. Within this guide, please find a variety of resources to explore practical ways to understand, explain, and solve seemingly intractable problems of racial inequity, white supremacy, police violence, and injustice.
This is a working document for scaffolding anti-racism resources. The goal is to facilitate growth for white folks to become allies, and eventually accomplices for anti-racist work. These resources have been ordered in an attempt to make them more accessible. We will continue to add resources.