Collaborative Circle Blog

Classroom Libraries as Windows and Mirrors

Will you be attending the upcoming International Literacy Association 2018 Conference in Austin, Texas? Lee & Low Books is excited to partner with Collaborative Classroom on a panel and workshop program called “Classroom Libraries as Windows and Mirrors: Ensuring Diverse, Representative Books for Our Students.”

The topic of diversifying our classroom libraries is one that should be at the forefront of educators’ minds. Since 2017, students of color have been the majority in US public schools. To support literacy learning and maximize potential, it is essential that all students have access to books in which they can see themselves, as well as to books that help them understand other cultures.

While many educators may understand the need to build more inclusive libraries, putting it into practice can remain a challenge: How do we evaluate diverse content? And where do we find the books?

The partnership between Lee & Low Books, a children’s book publisher, and Collaborative Classroom offers a new model for bridging the gap between the publishing industry and educators. Lee & Low’s exclusive focus on diverse books makes it a natural partner for organizations like Collaborative Classroom that seek out high-quality diverse content. The combination of Lee & Low’s content and Collaborative Classroom’s curricular expertise provides teachers with a powerful resource and helps facilitate a connection between new books and the classroom teachers who desperately need them.

Our session will feature several experts in the world of children’s literature and education, including Dr. Jonda McNair, Dr. Jane Fleming, and Dr. Jane Bean-Folkes, as well as Jackie Jacobs from Collaborative Classroom. As moderator, I am excited to facilitate a great conversation in which we’ll explore not only the why of diverse classroom libraries (including what the research says) but also the practical how of putting a library together. I bring the publisher perspective to the table, and am always thinking about not only how we create the best possible books but also how we help people to find them.

We hope you’ll join us! No matter how familiar you are with this topic, you’ll come away with new knowledge to support your work. Read more about the session, as well as all the other professional learning sessions that Collaborative Classroom will be offering at ILA here.