Let’s Talk Bookish: Promoting Diversity

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books & Dani @ Literary Lion, where they discuss certain topics, share their opinions, and spread the love by visiting each others’ posts.

Happy Friday, friends!

This week’s prompt: Promoting Diversity in the Book Industry (Nicole @ Thoughts Stained With Ink)

Prompt: How can we, as bloggers, promote diversity of all sorts in the book world?

Bloggers can promote diversity by doing what they do best, sharing and talking about books that they love. In last week’s post, I shared a little information about the organization, We Need Diverse Books, and the wonderful resources they share on where to find diverse books. This week, I am going to alter this week’s prompt to share information about book awards and lists from the American Library Association (ALA) and it’s affiliates. These are valuable resources for any reader. What some people may not realize, is that the awards and lists that come from library associations also influence the selection of books that are made available at your local library. (If you’re international, check and see if library associations in your area offer these! Here’s somewhere to start if you’re not sure.)

So, here are some book awards and lists that you can use to find books that are selected, reviewed, and awarded by library association committees. Several of these annual awards/lists are looking at a broader scope of excellence, but they often include diverse books. And because my background is focused on youth librarianship, these resources will mostly cover books for babies – 18 years. Another thing to note is many of books included in these awards/lists are from the previous year’s publishing because they do go through a selection committee.


American Library Association Awards:

  • The Stonewall Awards – are presented to English language books that have exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience.
  • The Coretta Scott King Book Awards – awarded to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values.
  • The Amelia Bloomer Book List – an annual annotated book list (or bibliography) of well-written and well-illustrated books with significant feminist content, intended for young readers (ages birth through 18).
  • The Rainbow Book List – an annual annotated bibliography consisting of quality LGBTQIA+ literature intended for readers from birth to age 18.

ALA Division: Association for Library Service to Children Book and Media Awards

  • Newbery Medal – honors the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.
  • Caldecott Medal – honors the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.
  • The Batchelder Award – is awarded to a United States publisher for a children’s book considered to be the most outstanding of those books originating in a country other than the United States and in a language other than English and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States 
  • The Belpré Medal – honors a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose works best portray, affirm, and celebrate the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.
  • The Geisel Award – honors the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished contribution to the body of American children’s literature known as beginning reader books published in the United States.
  • The Odyssey Award – awarded to the producer of the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States.
  • The Sibert Medal – honors the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished informational book published.
  • The Children’s Literature Legacy Award – honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to children’s literature through books that demonstrate integrity and respect for all children’s lives and experiences.

ALA Division: Young Adult Library Association Book and Media Awards for Libraries

  • The Alex Awards – are given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18.
  • The Belpré Medal Young Adult Author – honors a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose works best portray, affirm, and celebrate the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.
  • The Edwards Award – honors an author, as well as a specific body of his or her work, for significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature.
  • The Morris YA Debut Award – honors a book published by a first-time author writing for teens and celebrating impressive new voices in young adult literature.
  • YALSA’s Award for Excellence in Nonfiction – honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults
  • The Printz Award is an award for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature.
  • YALSA Bookfinder – This database provides access to all of YALSA‘s annual selected book and media lists, awards, and honorees. This database has so many awards and lists that are not included in this post.

Probably one of my favorite things about being in the library profession (besides the books) is that libraries have always been steadfast advocates for the common good of society. Equity, diversity, and inclusion is one of the ALA’s major advocacy initiatives that strives to promote and cultivate these ideas among library workers, in library services and facilities, and our communities.

I hope that these links help you find books to expand your world and thanks for sticking through to the end of the long list!

Thanks for reading! I look forward to checking out everyone else’s posts!


    • I hope they’re helpful! I don’t get to use them as often any more since I work at an academic library now, but I look at them every now and then for book recommendations.

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