Thank you to everyone who entered the Diversify Your Reading Challenge. It was a pleasure to read your entries and see how reading has directly affected so many of you in such positive ways.
After careful consideration, we are excited to announce the winners of the Diversify Your Reading Challenge!
The winning library is …
The Howard County Library System in Columbia, Maryland!
Here’s how librarian John Jewitt described what they did:
We produced a sign for a display in the teen section at each of our six branches, and then asked the teen specialist at each branch to create and maintain a display that reflected the diversity in our community. Our goal was to enable all of our teen readers to see themselves represented in our collection, and also to encourage teen readers to develop an inclusive and open concept of their community.
And check out their awesome displays:
Congratulations, Howard County Library! You’ll be receiving all of these fantastic books to add to your collection.
But of course we couldn’t stop at just one library! We’ve decided to give an Honorable Mention to the Baxter Memorial Library in Gorham, Maine, which organized a discussion group for teens. Here’s how librarian Kathy Stevens described it:
Baxter Memorial Library and the Gorham Recreation Department’s Teen Extreme program partnered this summer for several different projects. One such project was our diversity discussion and display. The teens participated in a discussion, with the youth services librarian and identified ways that they could foster tolerance and appreciate the diversity they encounter at school and in their neighborhoods.
Here are the teens and their display:
Congratulations, Baxter Memorial Library, you’ll also be receiving a box of books for your Honorable Mention!
The winning blogger/reader is …
Angie Manfredi of Fat Girl Reading
Angie wrote a wonderful post, I Am a Good Liberal — Rita Williams-Garcia’s “One Crazy Summer” & Reflections on Diversity in YA, that really dug into the meat of the question we asked you to consider: how did reading these books affect you as a reader? Here’s part of what she said:
Reading One Crazy Summer did much more than just cause me to go look up Bobby Hutton and find out more about him. (though I am grateful this book afforded me the opportunity to do that!) That’s too simple an answer to “how this book affected me as a reader.” Bobby Hutton, One Crazy Summer, the question about what any of can do to change the country we live in and the world we’re a part of – reading this book was a reality check for a good liberal like me. I know there’s always more for me to know, but I honestly wasn’t prepared to find it in a children’s book about the 1960s. …
It was more than a reality check: it was a reminder that the best books about “diversity” do more than fulfill check boxes in an effort to educate you. The best books about diversity, like One Crazy Summer, get straight to your heart and your brain and open the world up to you – they make you, like Delphine, ask questions about Bobby Hutton that are more than “So, who was this guy?” and are, instead, “What did he mean? What can I learn from his life? How can his life make my life better and more meaningful?”
Congratulations, Angie! You’ll be receiving all of these fantastic books for your collection.
Because we received so many great entries in this portion of the contest, we’ve also decided to name three Honorable Mentions:
- The Brain Lair: Diversify Your Reading – My Summer Foray
- Diary of a Would-Be Writer (And Mildly Deadly Cook): Diversify Your Reading Challenge
- Keeping Time: Diversity Reading Challenge Essay
Honorable Mentions in the blogger/reader category will also receive a box of book prizes!
Finally … We’re coming to San Diego this week!
Last but not least, just as the Diversify Your Reading Challenge has drawn to a close, our Diversity Tour is also wrapping up with one final event this week in San Diego.
Thursday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m.
San Diego County Library Poway Branch
13137 Poway Rd.
Poway, CA 92064
Highlighting YA fantasy and science fiction with authors Holly Black, Cinda Williams Chima, Karen Healey, Malinda Lo, Cindy Pon and Greg van Eekhout
If you’re in the San Diego area, please come out and talk diversity with us one last time. We hope to see you there!