February is Black History Month! With this celebration and all that has happened in the past year, it caused me to contemplate diversity. Webster’s defines diversity as “the condition of having or being composed of different elements.” But what does that mean? What is diversity? I remember learning in biology classes that the more diverse an ecosystem was the healthier it was. It was also more apt to survive drastic changes.
When looking at people and libraries, the same applies. The more we as people are exposed to diverse situations, people, ideas and places the more we grow. Healthy, positive interactions with people who are different from us create amazingly strong relationships. Libraries are great places to unmask new ideas and experience different diverse peoples.
At the Lincoln County Library System we strive to have a diverse collection of materials. We have materials about, and written by, a variety of people from an array of races, genders, nationalities, sexual orientation and family situations. We strive to have books that anyone can relate to, where they can see themselves in the books they read about; to the illustrations in the books and on the covers.
Some of my favorite diverse books or authors are:
For kids: “Ways to Welcome” by Linda Ashman, “Go Show the World: A celebration of Indigenous Heroes” by Wab Kinew, “The Arabic Quilt: an immigrant story” by Aya Khalil, “Say Something!” by Peter H. Reynolds, and “All are Welcome” by Alexandra Penfold
For upper elementary students: Any Rick Riordan book, the Aru Shah series by Roshani Chokshi, the Tristian Strong series by Kwame Mbalia, and “The Dragon Pearl” by Yoon Ha Lee.
For teens: “The Music of What Happens” by Bill Koningsberg, “A Land of Permanent Goodbyes” by Atia Abawi (Wyoming Soaring Eagle Book Award nominee 2019-2020), “Parachutes” by Kelly Yang, “Long Way Down” by Jason Reynolds, the “Killer of Enemies” series by Joseph Bruchac, “The Hate Your Give” by Angie Thomas and “Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know” by Samira Ahmed.
For adults: “Boyfriend Material” by Alexis Hall, “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man” by Emmanuel Acho, “The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett, “HUMANS” by Brandon Stanton, “Deacon King Kong” by James McBride, “American Dirt” by Jeanine Cummins and any books by Jodi Picoult, Ha Jin, and Jamie Ford.
Come check out any of these great books, or other diverse titles, at the Lincoln County Library System.