Advocacy, Diversity

Advocate.

An art installation of 857 empty school desks stands at the National Mall in Washington

Diversity behind the desk.

As yet another white female future school librarian, I am frustrated by the lack of diversity within the field of school librarianship.  I live in California where this is simply unacceptable – what is it?  Teachers are not this white, but the ranks become increasingly colorless in the world of school libraries…even in Los Angeles one of the most diverse city in the country (Yes, folks. Even NYC has a smaller percentage of speakers of languages other than English.)  So what is up with that?  I love that author blogger Meg Medina, one of the founding members of We Need Diverse Books, shoots right for the kill and asks the new Richmond Public librarian why only 3% of librarians are latino/a, to which Ramirez exclaims, “it’s a pipeline issue.”  Library schools and universities should obviously be doing more to reach out to diverse students.  I mean what the hell?  If we claim that diversity is a major tenet of librarianship, a lot more folks should be pissed off about this and more than just lip service should be offered to change this reality.  The Feral Librarian ignites a lively discussion about what she calls the Unbearable whiteness of librarianship – I was surprised by these kinds of angry responses…

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How can the person above (hopefully not a librarian) write that after reading this

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or taking a look at this…2017-03-13_2037

The quantitative and qualitative data is real. So let us take some responsibility as professionals to live our ideals to the fullest, knowing that our student patrons are better off when the faces they find in the library are reflective of themselves.  May those faces not just exist on the shelves, but staring back at them from behind the circulation desk.

 

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