Let’s Talk About Race in Storytimes

This title will be available Spring 2022. You may place an order and the item will be shipped when it becomes available.

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the Author

Foreword by Kirby McCurtis

With the help of this book’s adaptable storytime activities, tools for self-reflection, and discussion starters, children’s librarians will learn how to put anti-racism work into their professional practice while fostering an environment that celebrates all identities.

As the weekly lists of best-sellers demonstrate, many people want to engage with racial issues. But when it comes to talking about race, they often don’t know how or are hesitant to take the first steps. This includes children's librarians, who are taking seriously our profession’s calls for diversity, equity, and inclusion. They already know that popular storytimes can be an effective way to increase community representation and belonging at the library. Incorporating race into storytimes is an ideal way to foster inclusion by normalizing conversations about these issues. This book will help public and school librarians face their own biases, showing them how to have honest discussions with children, their caregivers, and storytime attendees, as well as their colleagues. In this book, you will discover

  • several ready-to-use library storytimes that incorporate racial themes, complete with sample activities and booklists;
  • an anti-oppression framework, based on the author’s own real-world practice, that is customizable for different settings and situations;
  • concrete suggestions for overcoming fears and awkwardness when it comes to talking about race, with advice on practicing new language, making space to connect around appropriate cultural books for read alouds, and evaluating books for storytime;
  • interactive self-reflecting worksheets which explore planning picture book introductions and songs for inclusive storytimes, providing age-appropriate glimpses into history, and suggested affirmations in describing skin tone, hair, and language;
  • advocacy talking points centered on social justice that will encourage discussion with co-workers and other library staff; and
  • guidance on community engagement, relationship building, and intentionally trying to diversify your world in order to truly become an anti-bias practitioner.

Preface: The World According to Whimsy

Introduction: Why I Started Talking about Race in Storytime

Chapter 1    They See Race 
Chapter 2    They See You 
Chapter 3    Becoming a Co-Conspirator 
Chapter 4    Modeling the Work: Six Sample Storytimes
Chapter 5    Building Your Practice 

Conclusion: Championing the Work!

Appendix A    Recommended Resources

Jessica Anne Bratt

Jessica Anne Bratt is the Director of Community Engagement and Outreach at the Grand Rapids Public Library. She was named a Library Journal Mover & Shaker in 2016. She leads facilitations around how to have productive conversations about race in storytime. While she could tell you all the ways she is involved in Libraryland—she will tell you that the coolest millennial thing for her was when MTV reached out for an interview. She was recently featured on the national radio program The Takeaway with Tanzina Vega. When not on the local news trying to convince the world to give libraries a try, she is experiencing her newest adventure: motherhood. Or reading fan fiction.

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