The purpose of this study was to establish a baseline of understanding about white privilege, diversity, and inclusion and to explore how these topics pertain to literature for children. As students of youth librarianship, thoughtful consideration of the subject matter aids in cultivating a holistic approach to librarianship with an eye toward equity and social justice, which will enhance our ability to serve our community.
In response to the turbulence created by recent events, the Association of Library Service to Children (ALSC) published the following statement. “ALSC’s Core Values include Responsiveness, Inclusiveness, Integrity and Respect. Therefore, when many are feeling vulnerable, disenfranchised, or wary of what the future holds, librarians and ALSC members stand resolute in their commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion” (n.d. http://www.ala.org/alsc/publications-resources/professional-tools). The current social climate implores us to to deeply consider white privilege as the foundation of inequity in children’s literature and society in general.
Group members researched broadly, using the Internet and databases through the Martin Luther King Jr. Library at San Jose State University. Blogs provided candid perspectives and personal experience from the United States and abroad. Scholarly articles offered statistics and in-depth studies based on qualitative and quantitative data. Individual research was compiled and discussed, then organized into sections including an explanation of white privilege, a comparison of diversity and inclusion, and a look at the topics in relation to children’s literature including several examples.
This blog represents a brief look at white privilege, diversity, and inclusion but represents an expansion of our knowledge into the narrative of our society and its impact on children’s materials. Our deeper understanding of the subject will build a foundation for future consideration of literature and librarianship.