Diversifying Your Collections

Ideas to Consider

  • Think about your current collection(s). What stories and experiences are well represented? Which stories are “single stories” and which stories are missing?
  • How does your library offer windows, mirrors, and sliding doors for users?

Diverse Topics

Are you adding diverse titles to your collections? This list does not include all diverse topics.
Your library might serve populations not included here. This list will continue to evolve.

  • BIPOC – Black, Indigenous, People of Color
  • Disabled, Mentally
  • Disabled, Physically
  • Elderhood
  • Environment
  • Fat
  • Mental health issues
  • Minority religions & spiritual practices




Windows, Mirrors, and Sliding Glass Doors (Links to an external site.) by Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop (1990).

Suggested Activity

Cultural competence is the process by which people learn to value and respond respectfully to people of all cultures.

  1. To learn more, review the Bennett Model of Cultural Competency, a series of stages of cultural competency.
  2. Practice your understanding of the stages by completing the Bennett Model Activity, where you can read each statement and match it to a stage on the model.

Places to help locate diverse reads- click on the link to start exploring 

Native American Authors – Heartdrum

Websites and Magazines
Paperback Paris
Lambda Literacy
Electric Lit
The Millions
Oprah Magazine
Melanin Library
FIYAH Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction
Women of Color in Romance

Book Marks Lit Reviews

Awards & Writing Programs
Jhalak Prize- Award for UK writers of color
International Prize for Arabic Fiction – Aim is to reward excellence in contemporary Arabic creative writing and to encourage the readership of high quality Arabic literature internationally through the translation
Bisexual Book Awards
The Caine Prize for African Writing – The AKO Caine Prize for African Writing aim is to bring African writing to a wider audience

The American Indian Youth Literature Awards –  AIYLA identifies and honors the very best writing and illustrations by Native Americans and Indigenous peoples of North America

The Asian/ Pacific American Award for Literature – The goal of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature is to honor and recognize individual work about Asian/Pacific Americans and their heritage, based on literary and artistic merit

The Sydney Taylor Book Award – Presented annually to outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience

The South Asia Book Award – Highlight children’s and young adult books published that portray South Asia or South Asians living abroad

Children’s Africana Book Award – CABA’s are presented annually to the authors and illustrators of the best children’s and young adult books on Africa published or republished in the U.S.

Lambda Literary Award – For over 30 years, the Lambda Literary Awards (or “Lammys”) have maintained a proud tradition of celebrating vibrant, dynamic LGBTQ storytelling.

Tomas Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award – Texas State University College of Education created The Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award in 1995 to honor authors and illustrators who create literature that depicts the Mexican American experience.

Malka Penn Award – The Malka Penn Award is given annually to the author of an outstanding children’s book addressing human rights issues or themes such as discrimination, equity, poverty, justice, war, peace, slavery or freedom.

The Walter Awards–  The Walter Dean Myers Awards for Outstanding Children’s Literature recognize diverse authors whose works feature diverse main characters and address diversity in a meaningful way

Celebrity Book Clubs – great ways to see what past reads have been 
Reese’s Book Club
Roxane Gay’s Audacious Book Club
Belletrist Book Club
Goop Book Club
Noname Book Club
Good Morning America Book Club