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In Redux

By Elizabeth Wroten

Quick Thoughts on ALA Annual, Diversity, and Collection Development

On 01, Jul 2015 | In Redux | By Elizabeth Wroten

So I just got back from ALA Annual in San Francisco. I’ve been two other times, but this is the first time I’ve been and had a real purpose. I wanted to visit sessions that might be pertinent to my library and I wanted to get posters and bookmarks and things to give away to the kids this year as little prizes. I also ended up picking up a bunch of ARCs to read and give to the kids.

This being the first time I’ve really gone around looking for ARCs and books to buy I wasn’t clear on how exactly the exhibits worked, but now I feel like a I have a handle on it. And now I see what people mean by how white all the books are and what they mean when they say to ask publishers for their diverse books. I get it now.

I wish I had done that this year. I wish I had been quicker on the uptake when it came to figuring out how the publishers give out ARCs. But we plan on going to Orlando next year and I will be way more selective about picking up diverse books then. I am glad though, because the books I bought and had signed (for our home collection and for our library collection) were almost all diverse (the exceptions being a hamster, a Scottish folktale because we are Scottish, and a writing prompt picture book).

My plan this year is to be buying primarily diverse books for the library. There are a few series and a few titles we need to replace that aren’t, but by and large my collection development selections will feature diversity. We have a very strong core collection and don’t need the latest and greatest shiny new books. Sure, we need a few (when the kids ask for them or if they are actually worthwhile), but I want the latest and greatest shiny diverse books to make our collection great.

As a side note, I am teaching two summer school classes over the next two weeks (Makerspace and sewing) so I won’t be posting, but I will post one or two things in the last weeks of July.

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