The United States has become more culturally and ethnically diverse, yet children’s books largely haven’t kept pace. According to the Children’s Cooperative Book Center at the University of Wisconsin School of Education, only 10 to 15 percent of children’s books were written by or about people of color from 1994 to 2015.
Fortunately, recent trends are more promising, as these numbers have doubled in recent years. And educators have recognized the need for more diverse school libraries: in a 2018 survey by the School Library Journal, 68% percent of librarians/media specialists said they’re buying more books with diverse characters.
This white paper by Scholastic examines why these efforts are important, and it looks at how librarians/media specialists and other K–12 leaders can make a difference by creating an inclusive literacy environment where students see both the stories of their cultures and their lives in the books they read, but also the stories of their classmates as well.