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Writers Against Racism: The 2010 NDLC Proposal

W.A.R. participant and high school media director, Edith Campbell, submitted the following proposal to the National Diversity in Libraries Conference, providing a summary of what our panel presentation will include.  & comes via SDLC website
(Visit here for more information about the conference which is being held in Princeton, NJ from July 14-16. Graphic comes via Diversity in Libraries website.) 

Brief description:   (100 words)

What are you doing to improve your professional online presence? Are you blogging? Tweeting?

Through the creation of  blogs, wikis and websites individual members of marginalized groups are using the Internet to connect and mobilize with readers, writers, educators and other literacy advocates around the country/globe. Meet the members of our community, learn about the resources we share and the work we do to promote authors of color,  provide book review, debate issues and rally together in dynamic projects such as Writers Against Racism (W.A.R.).Witness how our individual interests have grown into community platforms.

Detailed description:        (500 words)

Members of this panel will present interrelated papers based on their experiences using web technology to build community, advocate for literacy, and promote diversity within children’s and young adult literature. From isolated interests in promoting literacy in readers of color the presenters have developed into a global network. This is an important task for marginalized communities in the 21st century.

Our own information literacy skills improve as we use information ethically, learn to work together to solve problems and synthesize information to create new knowledge products. As users of this technology we can better educate students and patrons in the skills necessary to collaborate online and become community leaders.

Latonya Baldwin will consider the basics of designing an inviting blog and the etiquette necessary to create community.  What began as a blog to gather resources for a library she maintains in a local community center has grown into a site filled with memes and contests that mentors teen bloggers, provides the perspective of numerous guest bloggers and connects with others through a variety of web-based services.  Doret will discuss the types of information shared on some individual blogs and the wide variety of tools used to reach out to form community.  Her blogging experience teaches how to find books by authors of color and how to connect with these authors behind the scenes. While Doret is recognized as a prolific reviewer of books for children and teens, she is also noted as a specialist in sports books for girls. She will explain what promoted her to rant about the lack of books for children of color and the response she has had from this dynamic writing. Amy Bowllan who writes as a community blogger on the School Library Journal website will discuss how blogging about a thought can grow into a transformative project anywhere on the globe. She will describe how to maintain an effective online presence and how this information acquired here can effectively transform how we teach. Edith Campbell, a high school media director,  will discuss how school librarians benefit from using 2.0 technologies to improve the literacy of students of color. The digital divide is real and we must equip our students to be able to be successful on both the local and global level.

A virtual tour of a several of the sites in our community will enable participants to examine how blogs and tweets can be used to introduce books and authors, identify developing trends and alert readers to areas of concern.  Trace the discovery and promotion of authors who are typically not noticed by mainstream bloggers. 

From concern grows advocacy as bloggers of color develop programs to insure our presence in the literary community. 2.0 technologies can give voice to previously marginalized groups, thus paving ways for the creation of highly literate communities of color.

Learning outcomes:
Participants will

  • understand the importance of social networking as a means of promoting literacy among people of color
  • identify sources useful in developing collections with books for children and teens of color
  • explore tools useful in building online communities and the etiquette associated with each
  • understand the importance of promoting authors of color via social networking
  • learn how online communities of color can collaborate to address social issues (the WAR project)

Thanks, Edi!


  1. Amy,
    I did the easy work, pulling together everyone’s prolific work. I’m looking forward to this forum, to meeting my virtual friends and to seeing where the future will take us!

  2. Ari Reading in Color says:

    This sounds like a fantastic panel discussion! I’m very eager to hear everyone’s thoughts on the conference :)

  3. Great ideas and interesting proposal. When I read it I am reminded that these topics should be of interest to people of all colors, working together. The goal should be that we can each be proud of who we are and what we do, and proud of each other without noticing the color or ethnicity. At this time of celebration, let us hope we come a little closer as a family who also celebrates the achievements of each member without qualifications. Good luck with your conference.

  4. Kelly Starling Lyons says:

    Wonderful proposal! Congratulations! Thanks for the work all of you do. The kidlit community is so much richer as a result. Cheers and happy holidays!

  5. M. Dartis says:

    Koodoos to you! Good luck in what I know will be a successful endeavor.

  6. I’m not a librarian (but a HUGE library aficonado), but I’d love to come hear y’all talk! Princeton is only a couple of hours away from where I live.

  7. Amy Bowllan says:

    Come on down, Susan! I’ll keep you posted when details are available.