MoCo Libraries Strive for Diversity in Literature
Diversity in children’s literacy nationwide is lacking, that’s according to a study by the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The UWM study tracked publishing trends from 2002 until 2012 for cultures to include: African/African Americans, American Indians, Asian Pacific Islanders/Asian Pacific Americans and Latinos.
In 2012, about 5,000 books were published; out of the 3600 received by UWM only 271 had a main character that was diverse, according to the study.
Finding diversity in literature is an issue Nathan Chadwick—a Montgomery County Librarian—knows well. He says Montgomery County residents are more diverse than ever and the county makes it a priority to keep up with the demand.
Chadwick explains how the county has about seven foreign languages that they focus on to include Russian, Korean, Chinese, and French.
He adds that it isn’t just about providing the content, it’s also about helping to maintain the residents’ native culture as well.
This issue is explored in a recent report by National Public Radio. The reporter talks to experts about the culture in media and the viability of publishing content that is diverse for publishing houses.