On January 27th, 2018, it will be Multicultural Children’s Book Day. I was a coHost last year for the first time and this year, I wanted to do more than just review a book. I decided to do something on a local level and ask our elementary school librarian if we get involved. I wanted to add a few diverse books that not just my daughter, but also other kids, can see on a shelf.
Two months ago, I went in to meet her to show her a few printouts from the website and she was instantly on board. We are very fortunate to have a very diverse school, so convincing her of such an important initiative was not very difficult.
A few weeks ago, I was able to go in and use the school die cut machine to spell out the words Read Your Word, the title I wanted kids to see when they first entered the space. It’s also the hashtag used on Twitter by hundreds of bloggers, reviewers, book publishers and authors for the big day.
Then this week I was able to go into the library and hang up the letters.
At first I thought that I was only going to get the space under the words to showcase some books. But I soon learned that the librarian wanted books all over the library.
Another volunteer and I were handed reading lists and went off to find the books and cover the shelves.
Even single books were added in a few spots.
Now that I can add Professional Library Stager on my LinkedIn (okay, maybe not, but image how much fun this would be as a real job?), I wanted to offer my three tips to getting your school library to support Multicultural Children’s Book Day next year:
- Ask. You will be surprised at how many librarians are looking for fresh ideas to celebrate reading. Be sure to ask early so they can plan.
- Download. The Multicultural Children’s Book Day website if full of FREE resources to get you and your library started. No need to reinvent the wheel.
- Show up. Don’t give this to staff or a volunteer to do. Make sure you are there, to put in the sweat equity. Be the change you want to see.
So ask yourself, what can you do to bring more diverse books into your little corner of the world?
For those with a keen eye, you might have noticed the mosque pillow in the Read Your World photo, which is from a DIY craft project I shared after a book review. Feel free to look up resources on 100s of children books, reviews, downloads, & DIY tutorials on the Arab world, Islam, Muslims, Muslimahs, the Middle East/North Africa (MENA), Asia, Africa, & Arab Americans by visiting the A Crafty Arab Educational and Cultural Resources page to also use.
Stop by A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see more.