This resource page is intended to help libraries build, refresh, and expand their collections for equity, diversity, and inclusion in content and format. The resources below serve as a starting point for you. If you are uncertain about where to start, you may consider a collection audit which is provided by vendors such as Baker & Taylor, Ingram, and Follett.
A diverse collection should contain content by and about a wide array of people and cultures to authentically reflect a variety of ideas, information, stories, and experiences.
Library workers have an obligation to select, maintain, and support access to content on subjects by diverse authors and creators that meets—as closely as possible—the needs, interests, and abilities of all the people the library serves. This means acquiring materials to address popular demand and direct community input, as well as addressing collection gaps and unexpressed information needs. Successful diverse collections also include materials that reflect the world beyond the local community's demographics. Library workers have a professional and ethical responsibility to be proactively inclusive in collection development and in the provision of interlibrary loan where offered.
A diverse collection should contain a variety of works chosen pursuant to the library’s selection policy and subject to periodic review.
Developing a diverse collection requires
- selecting content in multiple formats;
- considering resources from self-published, independent, small, and local producers;
- seeking content created by and representative of marginalized and underrepresented groups;
- evaluating how diverse collection resources are cataloged, labeled, and displayed;
- including content in all the languages used in the community that the library serves, when possible; and
- providing resources in formats that meet the needs of users with disabilities. http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/librarybill/interpretations/servicespeopledisabilities
Professional Development Collection
When allotting collection budgets to diverse books, note that the Department of Libraries houses a professional development collection that will be regularly assessed and updated to address EDI issues in the library profession. Public libraries do not need to duplicate those titles as they are available through Interlibrary Loan.
Collections in Alternate Formats
While we often think of diverse collections in terms of the content of the materials, part of developing diverse collections is making sure that materials are available in accessible formats for patrons. Ensuring that patrons with disabilities can access library materials is an important part of promoting diversity in your community. Formats like audiobooks, large print books, and graphic novels allow patrons with visual, physical, and reading disabilities to access library materials in the format that best suits their needs. Additionally, you may find that patrons without disabilities benefit from a wide selection of formats. Offering library materials in alternate formats can benefit everyone.
Vermont Department of Libraries Collection Development Resources
Diverse Book Lists and Reviews
- America Reads Spanish Book Reviews - Aim to increase the use and reading of the Spanish language
- American Indian Library Association Children's Booklist
- American Indian Library Association MG/YA Booklist
- Anasesem: The Caribbean Children's Literature Magazine - Book Reviews
- Asian-Pacific American Library Association Book Reviews
- BCALA and ALSC Social Justice Reading List - A collaborative effort between the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) and the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA)
- Billings Public Library Inclusive Literature Lists
- Black Lives Matter, Black Literature Matters - Comics Reading List
- Books Matter: Children's Literature (Anti-Defamation League) Diverse children's book selections with educator's guides addressing disability & ableism, bias, discrimination, bullying, racism, and other social justice issues.
- Center for the Study of Multicultural Children's Literature: Annual Best Books
- Colorín Colorado - Titles for children and young adults, representing a wide range of cultures and languages
- Cuatrogratos Foundation -Titles for children and young adults, representing a wide range of cultures and languages
- Diverse Book Finder: Identify and Explore Multicultural Picture Books
- Diverse Families Bookshelf - Book titles that mirror the wide range of diverse readers and the unique characteristics of a family unit
- Hijabi Librarians - Reviews of children’s and young adult literature featuring Muslims
- I'm Your Neighbor Books Children's books featuring New Arrivals and New Americans
- Kirkus Diverse Collections
- Latinxs in Kid Lit Book Reviews – Exploring the world of Latinx YA, MG and children’s literature
- LGBTQ Reads - LGBTQIAP+ literature for all ages
- Love Your Neighbor - Association of Jewish Libraries recommends Jewish books for all readers
- NYPL: Staff Picks: Trans, Nonbinary, and GNC Reads
- Over the Rainbow Booklist Promote the improved quality and accessibility of LGBTQIA+literature for adult readers
- Rainbow Round Table Reviews and Booklists - The Rainbow Round Table (RRT) of the American Library Association (ALA) was founded in 1970 as ALA's Task Force on Gay Liberation
- REFORMA Children in Crisis Book List - A mix of titles originally in Spanish, bilingual books, and books translated from English, for the Children in Crisis, those in detention and those who have been released. Titles are arranged by grade level (Pre-K, K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and High School)
- Rise: A Feminist Book Project for Ages 0-18 Each year, compiles an annotated book list of well-written and well-illustrated books with significant feminist content, intended for young readers (ages birth through 18)
- Social Justice Books: A Teaching for Change Project - Booklists and Reviews
- Stories of Immigration - Perspectives from Pura Belpré Medal and Honor Books
- Tejas Star Reading List - Annual bilingual reading list for ages 5 – 12
- Transgender Day of Remembrance Booklist
- Vamos a Leer - Teaching Latin America Through Literacy Book reviews
Diverse Book Awards
- American Indian Library Association (AILA) Youth Literature Award - Identifies and honors the very best writing and illustrations by Native Americans and Indigenous peoples of North America
- Américas Award - Children’s and young adult books that portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States.
- Anisfield-Wolf Book Award - Recognizes books that have made important contributions to our understanding of racism and our appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures
- Arab American Book Award - Honor given each year to outstanding books written by or about Arab Americans.
- Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature - Books about Asian/Pacific Americans and their heritage. Includes books for children to adults, fiction and non-fiction.
- Coretta Scott King Book Award - Outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values.
- Dolly Gray Children's Literature Award - Books with characters with developmental disabilities
- Lambda Literary Award - Recognizes LGBTQ books published in a given year across dozens of categories
- Middle East Book Award - Books for children and young adults that contribute meaningfully to understanding of the Middle East
- Mildred L. Batchelder Award - Children's books originally published in a language other than English in a country other than the United States.
- Notable Books for a Global Society - Children's books enhancing understanding of people and cultures throughout the world
- Pura Belpré Award - Books for children and youth that portray, affirm, and celebrate the Latino cultural experience.
- Schneider Family Book Award - Books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences
- Stonewall Book Awards - Books with exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience.
- South Asia Book Award - A yearly book award to call attention to outstanding works on South Asia
- Sydney Taylor Book Award - Books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience
- Tomás Rivera Book Award - Honors authors and illustrators who create literature that depicts the Mexican American experience
- Walter Dean Myers Award - Recognizes diverse authors whose works feature diverse main characters and address diversity in a meaningful way.
- Women's Prize for Fiction - Shines a spotlight on outstanding and ambitious fiction by women from anywhere in the world
Please let the Department of Libraries know if you have suggestions for additional resources.