ALA, ALSC, & Diversity

Continuing the work...

A 2017 ALA smore report by Caitlin Jacobson, Ketchikan

ALA and its divisions have been working hard to address diversity both within the organization and within literature. The "We Need Diverse Books" movement has increased awareness of needed changes in children's literature, and this effort has brought other issues of diversity to the forefront.

Diversity and the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)

ALSC hosts a division leadership meeting at both Midwinter and Annual conferences. Leadership includes paid ALA staff, elected board members, committee chairs, and task force chairs. The meeting is open to the public, but is primarily attended by those in leadership positions. Last month's session was particularly valuable. It began by showing the graphic that has become popular in the last year or so. It charts the numbers of books with diverse characters. See the link below.

The graphic below was then adapted to reflect the diversity within library staffing. This was the main focus of the guest speaker's presentation, and for the Q & A that followed. The numbers are quite dismal: 88% white. Please see the links below for ideas on how to diversify our profession. (I was not able to find the graphic on staffing levels, it was only on screen during the talk.)
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Diversity Links

Diversity and Inclusion: Recent ALSC Board Actions
This is a post from the ALSC Blog from President-Elect Jamie Naidoo. He summarizes many of the discussions that took place during ALA Annual, and Board actions.

CCBC's Children's Books by and about POC (People of Color)

Sarah Park Dahlen and ALA 2017

Another blogger writing about her experiences at ALA.

ALA 2017 Diversity Panel Handout

Putting the 2015 ALSC Competencies Into Action: A Resource List (via

One Thing YOU Can Do Now, by Elizabeth Bluemle

And the Work Continues... ALA 2017, by Alec Chunn

For more links, see my ALA 2016 Annual Conference report on diversity.