CCBC spotlighted in multiple news stories

UW–Madison’s Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) has been spotlighted in three recent Wisconsin and national news stories.

From left, CCBC staff members Maddie Tyner, Merri Lindgren, Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, and Megan Schliesman (Photo: Sarah Maughan)

On Sept. 26, CCBC Director Tessa Michaelson Schmidt was quoted in a report from ABC News5 in Cleveland, Ohio, about the growth of Hispanic representation in children’s books.

According to the article, which cites the CCBC’s Diversity Statistics, 7 percent of children’s books sent to the CCBC this year have been “about the Latino community.” This is compared to just 2 percent in 1994.

“There are really high-quality, wonderful books that are exploring this amazing world we live in,” Schmidt told ABC News5.

Read the ABC News5 report.

Next, on Oct. 11 Megan Schliesman, a CCBC librarian and assistant director, spoke with USA Today about the banning of books in children’s libraries. The article discusses a website that includes a book rating system often used by right-wing political activists to target books for removal from libraries. Schliesman warns of the dangers of rating books for the purpose of removing them from shelves.

Rating books “implies there’s something inherently dangerous or disturbing about certain kinds of content. … That idea that there is this rating system that can set a standard that applies to every family in a community is completely untrue, completely uninformed,” Schliesman said.

Read the full article in USA Today.

Finally, just a few days ago Madison’s own Isthmus newspaper spoke with Schliesman, Schmidt, and CCBC librarians Merri Lindgren and Maddie Tyner about the CCBC’s Diversity Statistics. The article also outlines the CCBC’s goals, offerings, history, and more.

“Our end goal is to identify incredible books from each year,” Schmidt said. “The most important thing is for children and teens to have choices on their bookshelves.”

“So we hope that all the work we do is helping librarians provide a wide range of choices for the people in the communities that they serve,” added Schliesman.

Read the Isthmus story.

Administratively housed in the School of Education and also supported by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, the CCBC serves as a resource to Wisconsin schools, teachers, librarians, and others interested in children’s and young adult literature. The center’s Diversity Statistics document books for children and teens it receives annually by and about Black, Indigenous, and people of color.

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