x Foreword this story because it relates to the work that Sarah Voels has put into this book regarding inequalities in libraries. Sarah mentions in her introduction that it is our collective responsibility as library professionals to remove as many barriers as possible. Oftentimes these barriers to equitable services and resources are rooted in systemic racism. I do not believe that the school leaders were racist, but that they developed oppressive library policies based on preconceived thoughts about the students and stereotypes of librarian- ship. Sarah mentions that our role as gatekeepers of information is to ensure that we are providing books and services for everyone. I also share this story because, as library professionals, we have a responsibility to investigate and dismantle the unjust practices of the past to ensure that our marginalized customers have access to equitable resources and services. This book is not only a guide for conducting diversity audits it offers a deep glimpse into the systemic challenges in providing equitable resources and services to the marginalized populations that we serve. My colleague who received the additional funding for her students will have the oppor- tunity to develop a thriving library program full of books and resources to give her students an advantage. This made me think of the neighboring public library in that same affluent community that also has the best books and resources that reflect the community it serves. As a public library com- munity branch manager for one of the poorest communities in Charlotte, North Carolina, I oftentimes find myself strategically advocating to remove systemic policies and practices that limit equitable services and resources for marginalized customers. This book is purposeful because Sarah gives you a 100-year lesson on diversity challenges within the publishing industry that affect libraries. She highlights diverse pioneers in the field of librarianship who chal- lenged the status quo. Her highlights on Charlemae Hill Rollins and Pura Belpré give you an understanding of why our role as information profes- sionals is so important. We have to ask tough questions like Rollins, who fought tirelessly for Black representation in books for her customers on the South Side of Chicago in the 1920s. It mentions Belpré, who in 1932 published the first Spanish-language book in the United States. It men- tions Langston Hughes and Arna Bontemps, who made the first Black contributions to the publishing industry despite economic and racial tur- moil in the United States. Sarah not only talks about the challenges for authors of color in being awarded and recognized throughout history but also researches the inequi- ties in the publishing industry. Most librarians working in academic, public, or school libraries are overwhelmed with wearing multiple hats. It is con- venient to order books from a predetermined suggested purchase list from well-vested publishing companies. What Sarah brings to light is the inequi- ties of diversity among staffing within these publishing companies. Sarah mentions that those who decide who gets published and what books get
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