1 Working T ogether for Library Outreach: Promoting African American Writers WORKING TOGETHER IN PROGRAMS THAT PROMOTE AFRICAN AMERICAN WRITERS Libraries provide programs to connect with library users and potential users through activities that span the gamut from recreation to education. Library programming may involve everything from creating online tutorials for information resources to developing and hosting book clubs to organiz- ing music concerts outside or inside the library walls. Libraries have always been viewed as cultural institutions, but in today’s fast-paced, physical, and virtual world, libraries in the United States have become more competitive, even while maintaining their image as service institutions. Libraries are increasing their efforts to attract greater and greater numbers of visitors. Yet how much diversity is shown in their programming? Promoting African American writers through programming demonstrates diversity in libraries that can attract a wide range of new and loyal users to the library. A Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data (Fry and Parker, 2018) shows that “postmillennials” (persons six to twenty-one years of age) are the most racially and ethnically diverse part of the U.S. population with only a slight majority of them being non-Hispanic Whites (52 percent). Afri- can Americans as a whole, in 2019, were a relatively younger segment of the total U.S. population, according to a Pew Research Center report, with a median age of thirty-two (Tamir et al, 2021, 3). Many African Americans may be new library patrons who can be drawn into the library through
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