We Need Diverse Books

Jul 15, 2015 02:27:03 PM


Kalamazoo, MI –

Our world is made up of many diverse people. Each with their own story. Sharing these stories, reading these stories, are the best way to remove fear of the unknown, forge understanding and come to appreciate our differences as much as our commonalities. Everyone loves reading stories where they can picture themselves as the main character, yet for too many people, especially children and young adults, characters they can identify with are nearly impossible to find in today's popular publications. 

While there is a plethora of diverse writers in the world, getting their work published, recognized, and mass distributed has continued to remain a major constraint. That is why We Need Diverse Books was started. WNDB is a grassroots organization of children's book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people. 

Like most causes, WNDB started out as a small conversation, and exploded into a national movement. 

"In a Twitter exchange on April 17th, 2014, Ellen Oh and Malinda Lo expressed their frustration with the lack of diversity in kidlit. This wasn’t a new conversation for Ellen or Malinda, just the latest, this time in response to the all-white, all-male panel of children’s authors assembled for BookCon’s May 31st reader event. In a series of tweets, Ellen started talking about taking action. Several other authors, bloggers, and industry folks piped up saying they would like to be involved as well. We planned a three-day event for May 1-3 to raise awareness, brainstorm solutions, and take action (Diversify Your Shelves). Aisha Saeed primed the pump on April 24th with the first tweet including the #WeNeedDiverseBooks hashtagAfter Aisha’s post, the hashtag started taking off, officially trending for the first time on April 29th, around 9:30 pm EST."

Kalamazoo Public Library is a proud supporter of We Need Diverse Books. On July 11th, KPL hosted a First Saturday event with Educating for Freedom School in Schools. The need for diverse books was a main topic and we invited the participants to take pictures and tell us why they felt "we need diverse books." View those photos here.

Want to share with us why you think we need diverse books? Create your own WNDB sign and share it on Instagram! Be sure to hashtag #kplwndb   #weneeddiversebooks and   #wndb to see your photo included on our website!

Also be sure to check out the many diverse authors we have coming to KPL this fall, in the next issue of LINK coming at the end of August.

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