CCBC librarians publish article in The Horn Book magazine

A recent article in The Horn Book magazine, titled “CCBC and Diverse Books: Numbers Are Just Part of the Story,” shares a brief history and offers insights into how the School of Education’s Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) documents its Diversity Statistics.

CCBC librarians Merri V. Lindgren and Madeline Tyner, Assistant Director Megan Schliesman, and Director Tessa Michaelson Schmidt co-wrote the article for The Horn Book, one of the most distinguished resources in the field of children’s and young adult literature.

The Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC), located in Merit Library

The article begins with a brief history of the CCBC’s Diversity Statistics for children’s books, which the organization began documenting in 1985.

“Our work is informed by deep, ­ongoing discussions that the CCBC staff have been having internally for years, and by critical input and insights we’ve gained from those outside the library,” the authors write. ”We strive to reflect the preferences of those whose identities we are documenting, especially as articulated in the current discourse and opinions of content experts from those identity groups in our field even as we understand that there isn’t always consensus, nor ought there be.”

The authors continue to explain how they use data to measure diversity in children’s books in order to ensure all kids are represented in literature. “The welcome increase in the number of diverse books has resulted in their greater visibility in libraries and classrooms, and in the lives of children and teens,” they write. “That visibility is something to celebrate.”

“Unfortunately,” they add, “it has also made many books targets — flashpoints in the social and political conflicts of our times, without consideration for the children and teens they’re intended to reach.”

When asked about the writing process for the article, Schmidt says, “All four librarians contributed to this article and are part of our ongoing diversity statistics work. However, I would like to call out the efforts of Assistant Director Megan Schliesman who masterfully combined CCBC history with the complex details of the diversity statistics for this piece.”

“What we can say is this,” the authors conclude. “(W)e are committed to making sure diverse books — reading them and recommending them to librarians and teachers — remains a core dimension of what we do.”

Read their full article in The Horn Book magazine.

Pin It on Pinterest