Creating a Diverse Collection at the Lincoln Elementary Library
Lincoln's Librarian, Amy Luem, reached out to WFEE, about the library collection at Lincoln. She realized that not all the students at Lincoln saw themselves reflected in the books in their school library. Developing a diverse collection of books for Lincoln School would promoting inclusion, equity, social-emotional skills, and social justice among the students and staff. WFEE was excited about partnering with Ms. Luem, and approved her grant. Ms. Luem then took an online workshop through the School Library Journal and Library Journal called How to Build Diverse Collections. This three day series provided opportunitie to learn how to conduct an inclusion and diversity audit of the book collection in the Lincoln library, and hear about ways to include more perspectives from LGBTQIA+ peoples, BIPOC, and historically underrepresented cultures.
After the workshop, Ms. Luem was able to use funds from WFEE to purchase books including many of the ones above to add to Lincoln's collection. The results are best heard from the librarian herself: "Libraries are safe spaces for everyone to learn more about themselves and the world around them. Thanks to WFEE, our Lincoln Library now has a more diverse collection that allows students to step into perspectives that allow them to feel seen and valued and build empathy for others! I've had the pleasure of listening to students 'buzz' some of these new books, sharing that they felt like they were reading about themselves. One kiddo even said, 'I like this book because the character is living my life! She even has hair like mine!'" Amy Luem