Diversity Collection Development

Collection development - picture of books

Thanksgiving represents the start of the holiday season. I particularly like working post Thanksgiving due to the large number of college students that show up telling me that their family is driving them crazy. There is also a high probability of pumpkin pie in the break room. Thanksgiving also makes me think of holiday books, especially ones for the kids.

As we head into the holiday season, it is a good time to dig deep into your holiday book collection. Instead of looking to see that holidays are represented, take a minute to really evaluate the collection, especially the older titles. Our library has been making a a concerted effort to make sure we are inclusive and respectful of both religions and cultures. Particularly helpful for collection development of non-Christian religious holidays and celebrations is Diverse Bookfinder.

Be mindful of how non-Christians or indigenous people are represented in books.  Thanksgiving holiday books can be quite problematic in native representation – not to mention factually inaccurate. If you want some examples, check out the category “Holiday collection” on our site for examples.

Although I don’t do kiddie collection development (adults are SOOOO much easier!) anymore, I thought I would share a few resources for both youth and adults. (Holly cobbled this together based on some workshops and recommendations.) Of course, this is only to scratch the surface and gives you a starting point. I am sure there are more resources out there and this is not to be considered a comprehensive list. If anyone has any to share, by all means say so in the comments!

I will also point out that we have some sample collection development policies if you are looking for language on DEI. I also want to point you to the ALA discussion on Diversity in Collections.

A good chunk of us will be heading back to the desk tomorrow. If you get a minute, try out some of these resources to enhance your collections throughout the library.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Mary and Holly


Kibooka.com – Kids books by Korean Americans (and Korean diaspora)
Jewish American Heritage Month reading list
American Indians in Children’s Literature (AICL)
Cartoonists of Color Database
Disabled Cartoonists Database
EarlyWord: Upcoming Diversity Titles
Diverse Book Finder
First Nations Development Institute: Books
Queer Cartoonists Database
A Library Mama
Diverse Book Finder
Rich in Color
Girls of the Crescent
Hijabi Librarians
Epic Reads
Disrupt Texts
I’m Your Neighbor
Latinx in Kid Lit
Rainbow Roundtable
Diverse Books Need Us
Social Justice Books
A Mighty Girl
Lee and Low
FirstNations.org: Books
American Indians in Children’s Literature
The Lesbrary
Queer Books for Teens
WOC in Romance
I Love Diverse Romance
Crime Writers of Color
Romance Class



  1. I don’t get why people make such a big deal out of spending the holidays with your family when most people hate their family and would rather be not be alive than be with them at all. Although that’s not normally a problem with my own family members. Maybe because we don’t turn everything political and tolerate each other’s opinions. But I still find it difficult being around noisy groups of people because of my health anxiety, my sensory issues and “social awkwardness”. Except I’m not really socially awkward, I’m antisocially confident. 🙂

    1. Friendsgiving is the way to go. Haven’t spent a Thanksgiving with family since 1984. And I got along with mine, spent every Christmas with my parents till they had to move to “the home”.

      One year we had Friendsgiving at the Thai restaurant…

  2. Mary,

    I wish there were more lists of disabled creators here.

    But a high chance of pumpkin pie is the best thing ever.

  3. One more tip I give my staff – Condition! There is no reason to keep any books held together with tape. When I see those holiday books coming back in, taped, soiled, or some other poor condition issue, I say toss them! Since most of those books come in after the holiday – its the best time to replace them. Often I find holiday books on discount after the holidays.

Comments are closed.