Book Access: How It Started

Image Credit: @kathryniveyy (Twitter)

Chances are good you've seen some of the "How it started, How it's going now" photos circulating social media. Some of the images show inspiring progress and others portray the toll the pandemic is taking on people. The image above reminded me of the hard work and sacrifice so many people are making.

No doubt, literacy leaders have stories and examples of how our views and understanding have changed over time. I thought I'd share one such example. (You can go ahead and call this my nerdy and reflective version of "How it started...")

Several years ago, our school invested in additional books celebrating the same strengths, backgrounds, and diversity present in our students and school community. We even planned professional learning experiences for staff that created a space for us to talk about the purpose and value of diverse books. Eventually, the titles made their way to our Media Center where they became part of our circulation.

Some of the books were checked out and others weren't (which is totally okay). However, it took me several years to recognize the difference between making books available and celebrating them. When we actually talk about the books we love with readers, share why a book touched us, and why we think a reader might enjoy it too we create connection.

Our school recently added a pop-up Inclusion Library (below) to our new Media Commons space, and the decision to do so was intentional.