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Press Release Fun: Diversity and the State of the Children’s Book

Boy, I love it when I set up a Literary Salon months in advance and then the universe conspires to make it even more timely than I’d initially intended.  Expect this next one at the main branch of NYPL to feature one hot and toasty little panel talk.  I shall mentally prepare in the interim.

New York Public Library’s Children’s Literary Salon is pleased to announce our next event on Saturday, March 2nd at 2:00 p.m.

Diversity and the State of the Children’s Book
Join authors Zetta Elliott (Ship of Souls, Bird), Sofia Quintero (Efrain’s Secret, Divas Don’t Yield), Connie Hsu (editor, Little Brown) and others for an honest conversation about the issues surrounding diversity in 21st century books for youth.
This event will be held in the Schwarzman Building (42nd Street & 5th Avenue a.k.a. the one with the lions) in the Berger Forum on the second floor.

More information found here.


About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Betsy,

    Readers may be interested in the video I did with Dr. Elliott:

    This will be a great panel.

    (and you will be interested, perhaps, to learn that at school, my own videos are banned)

  2. Betsy,

    I’ve been disappointed with CBC DIversity initiative’s lack of inclusion.

    If I could attend the salon, I’d say:

    Heads up, everyone! CBC Diversity’s Bookshelf only has books published by CBC members. Small publishers who publish authors of color aren’t included on the bookshelf. If you’re turning to their bookshelf as a resource to purchase books by authors of color, there’s huge gaps. Books that won ethnic awards aren’t included unless they’re published by CBC members.

    Given ALA’s close relationship with CBC (ALA-CBC committee) and ALA’s sponsorship of the CBC Diversity panel at Midwinter, maybe ALA can encourage CBC to be more inclusive.

    I realize that small publishers can join CBC and thereby have their books listed, but it takes money to do that, and a lot of the small publishers can’t afford it. They’re left out of the Diversity Committees commitment to diversity!

    This sounds a bit provocative, but I’ll say it anyway. The policy to only list “Diversity” books published by their own publishers smacks of “membership has its privileges.” For me, it also suggests that the bottom line of their members is more important than the initiative’s goal.

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      The CBC Diversity Initiative may or may not figure much into our talk. After all, two (three?) of my panelists are authors rather than publishers. One thing I will note, Debbie, is that recently you linked to an interesting article about “microagressions”. I’ve cribbed from that for some of my panel questions. Should make for a scintillating panel discussion!

      • Microaggression research is compelling. I’m glad you’ll make it more known to people who attend the salon. Will you do a recap on your blog?

      • Elizabeth Bird says

        Probably not, but I think I’ll be able to record the audio and have it posted on the NYPL website. When I do I’ll let y’all know.


  1. […] you’re a member of the children’s literature community then you know Betsy Bird, Fuse8 blogger and Youth Materials Specialist at the NYPL. You probably also know that Betsy runs a […]