Collection development - picture of books

Diversity Collection Development

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.