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2.1: What We Looked At

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    Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Book Selection

    During the 68 storytime programs we observed at 35 public libraries, librarians shared a total of 160 books; the number shared at each storytime ranged from one to five books . We analyzed the text and illustrations of each book with a coding scheme (modified from Crisp and colleagues’ 2016 study) that focused on seven aspects of diversity: (a) parallel populations; (b) categories of books; (c) gender of leading characters; (d) sexual identity; (e) disabilities, developmental differences, and chronic illnesses; (f) religion; and (g) language. For aspect (a), we coded books as representing one or more parallel populations if the text specifically referred to a character as belonging to a racial, ethnic, or cultural group that has been traditionally marginalized in the United States (e.g., African American/Black, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, etc.). For aspect (b), the book could be coded as one or more of these categories created by Crisp and colleagues (2016):

    • melting pot: depicting characters with a variety of visible identities without expressly acknowledging difference
    • social conscience: promoting acceptance/and or tolerance of diverse groups
    • culturally conscious: purposefully representing the experiences of a character from a traditionally underrepresented or marginalized group.

    For aspects (c) and (g), we analyzed the text of the book. For aspects (d), (e), and (f), we considered both the text and illustrations. Additionally, we categorized the books according to type of main character (i.e., person, animal, etc.) or subject for nonfiction books.

    Book Content with a School Readiness Focus

    In addition to examining the books used by librarians in the storytimes we observed, we examined a random sampling of recommended books from six popular online resources for storytimes: Esther Storytime, Jbrary, MCLS kids, Silly Librarian, Storytime Katie, and Storytime Secrets. Using Worldcat data for the titles, abstracts, and subject terms of 429 books, we used text mining techniques to analyze the books’ key concepts, genres, topics, and emotional aspects.

    2.1: What We Looked At is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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