Social Library, Antiracism Edition

Jennifer Peterson /

Image courtesy Calcasieu Parish Public Library on Facebook

In this edition of our Social Library series, we’re highlighting ways libraries are demonstrating their commitment to antiracism, providing resources and programming for patrons of all ages. In addition to the examples below, be sure to explore the collection on WebJunction, which includes antiracism statements from libraries and organizations, ways to support youth, and how to create more diverse collections. If you'd like to see your library featured in an upcoming edition of the Social Library, let us know via [email protected] or find us on Facebook.

  • Mansfield Public Library in Connecticut announced the availability of their new Anti-Racist Book Discussion Kits. "Each kit has 6 books and a guide to help you discuss the book. Check one out and read them with your book group or family." Additional information about the new kits explains, "It’s difficult to meet in groups and discuss books during this time of social distancing. Our solution has been to create book discussion kits meant for small groups to use, such as a family or close friends -- whoever is in your social bubble. We have chosen the following books for discussion, and will have two kits for each title: White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism, by Robin DiAngelo; Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow, by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.; So You Want to Talk about Race, by Ijeoma Oluo; The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander; Tyler Johnson Was Here, by Jay Coles; and How to Be an Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi. Each kit includes six books and a discussion guide. They are loaned out for a month. Call the library for curbside pickup!"
    Image courtesy Anacortes Public Library on Facebook
  • Anacortes Public Library in Washington posted this list, Children's Books, to Start a Conversation about Race, with books available on Hoopla and Overdrive. "We've created a children's book list to help you start conversations at home about race, racism, diversity, and taking action to help others." They also shared a video, Digital Dive In: Antiracist Reads. "Dive into the library's digital resources to find out where to find sold out titles about racism in America, including books for teens, children, and more with our librarian, Diana."
  • Caseyville Public Library District in Illinois, as part of their weekly Teen Talk virtual hangout for ages 13-18, hosted a special panel discussion, Conversation on Race. The June 12 discussion was recorded, and explored how to engage in difficult conversations about race in your community, provided available resources, and shared ideas to move the community forward. The panelists included the library director, superintendent of the school district, the police chief, and the high school coach, and invited comments, questions and discussion with teen panelists.