I’m going to post a day earlier than normal to make sure everyone gets a chance to participate in the Kidlit Rally for Black Lives hosted on The Brown Bookshelf's FaceBook Live tonight. This free event was organized by Kwame Alexander, Jason Reynolds, and Jacqueline Woodson. Visit this Facebook page for more details. https://www.facebook.com/thebrownbookshelf
Librarians are some of the most hard-working people I know. Many speak up for others’ rights publicly at rallies but also in more subtle ways such as in the way they select their books or conduct diversity audits of their collections. Here’s a great article from SLJ: Diversity Auditing 101: How to Evaluate Your Collection. As well, you can hear several of the Librarian Influencers podcasts where the librarian speaks about the audits they are conducting. In particular, Colleen Nelson’s interview titled “Your Library Should Reflect the Students in Your Building” has some great links to look at.
I also want to be sure you are aware of a great resource called TeachingBooks. They shared a great blog post Wednesday called Black Lives Matter: Resources to support the conversation. “TeachingBooks supports conversations on racism and anti-racism, discrimination, inequality, privilege, and social justice. We acknowledge the generational resilience and contributions of African Americans in our society. As part of our ongoing commitment to offering learning opportunities, we are sharing this list of resources and tools for educators, students, parents and community to discuss and explore these topics.” (June 3, 2020 blog post) I invite you to read their blog post in full. Black Lives Matter: Resources to support the conversation
I have great admiration for TeachingBooks founder and executive director, Nick Glass. He is passionate about doing good work to connect educators to children’s book authors, illustrators, and teaching resources via the Internet. Check out the free resources he has made available. They are outlined on the June 3, 2020 blog post linked above.
For example, if you select the link #BlackLivesMatter Reads for Teens and then select any book title there, you will find links to teaching resources you can use, such as: About the Authors, Author Interviews, Book Guides, Activities & Lessons, Book Readings, Vocabulary Lists, Book & Adaptation Websites, Awards & Distinctions. Teachingbooks scours the internet and curates information to add to each title it features. What is offered differs by each book title depending on what is available.
I also encourage you to build your professional learning community by following these groups online. Here's a couple of accounts to help you get started:
I hope to see you on Facebook tonight for the Kidlit Community Black Lives Matters event. https://www.facebook.com/thebrownbookshelf I also hope you checkout Teachingbooks blog post and their links to resources to help you during this time.
Keep making a difference every day, librarians! We are working together to effect change and consequently making the world a better place.
Have you met Heather Lamb? Listen to her interview titled: School Libraries Are Magnificent Spaces of Opportunity. You'll come away with an idea or two of how to rethink your library's physical and virtual space.
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