Library System is awarded early literacy grant to promote diversity!


“Expand Minds: Books for Little Hands”

The Library System of Lancaster County is pleased to announce that it received $14,300 to enhance the children’s book collections at each of the county’s 17 public libraries and the Bookmobile.  The Lancaster County Community Foundation awarded the grant, which is part of their Better Lancaster Fund. The grant initiative is entitled: “Expand Minds: Books for Little Hands”. Each library will add approximately 75 books for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers that are visually stimulating and that represent the rich diversity of our many communities.

Diverse representation in books brings value to children of all upbringings in many ways—by providing positive role models for children of diverse backgrounds; allowing children to identify with characters with similar emotions and experiences; conveying the richness and beauty of diverse cultures; and facilitating acceptance of cultures different from one’s own.   Early initiatives promoting diversity in children’s literature focused primarily on racial diversity.  However, current efforts broaden the meaning of diversity to include many more characteristics including religious and cultural traditions, family composition, immigration status, as well as mental and physical ability.

Librarians who will make the selections are very pleased to enhance their children’s collection with books that are relevant and meaningful to our current society. Barbara Basile, Director of the Milanof-Schock Library welcomes the opportunity to enrich their collection with books that celebrate diversity, “Small children are so impressionable. What a great opportunity to present wonderful words and beautiful artwork to help them understand that people the world over are so much more alike than they are different.”

The Library System facilitates inter-library loans that give library users access to all of the books in this new collection.
Here is just a sampling of book titles with diversity themes that will be available at public libraries for checkout:

  • Come over to my house (a rereleased Dr. Seuss)
  • A family is a family is a family
  • Janine and the Field Day Finish
  • Pedro for President
  • Blue & Bertie
  • One Little, Two Little, Three Little Children
  • I’m New Here
  • Say Hello!
  • I Am Mixed
  • Not All Princesses Dress in Pink
  • The Skin You Live In
  • Same, Same but Different

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