Foreword xi highlighted are overwhelmingly white. She goes on to highlight that people of color in these publishing companies overwhelmingly do not work in areas where they have the influence to make decisions. If you are a solo librar- ian of a school library, you may assume that recommended books come from an equitable standard of literature that you should have in your col- lection. Sarah highlights several studies like the 1960s Larrick Study, which was a three-year study on diversity from 63 publishers: of 5,206 books, only 6.7 percent featured a Black character. I am not surprised by those findings from the 1960s, but Sarah does research to prove that not much has changed, which is why there is a need for equity work in collection development. Sarah highlights the work of Karen Jensen for the Teen Librarian Tool- box she started the conversation on conducting diversity audits. Jensen wrote a number of articles to challenge the status quo and to promote the need for diversity audits. Although I never thought of the term “diversity audits” back then, one would assume that with all the history of inequities in libraries that this would have been an official practice years or decades before 2017. Although that is concerning, this book will guide you and give examples of various ways to conduct diversity audits. This book takes the reader on a journey of auditing a wide range of collections from various types of libraries across the United States, highlighting best practices, lessons learned, and optimistic ways to improve the process. Many of the audits not only take a deep dive into representation but also offer a glimpse of how people of color are being portrayed in stories. For instance, you’ll read about the work at Columbus Public Library, where Erica Cherup, selec- tion and acquisition manager, and her team conducted a sample audit in 2019 of their children’s and young adult fiction collection. Cherup and her team’s findings were in alignment with the issues discussed with publish- ing companies simply not having enough books to purchase to reflect the Columbus community. What I found most interesting from their findings was that they now have an established process for each of the 19 libraries to conduct future diversity audits based on the communities that they serve. It is stories and examples like these that make this work so valuable to the library industry. Sarah has a chapter dedicated to conducting diversity audits in other areas of libraries, which is how we connected. Sarah reached out to me because she wanted to learn more about the legacy audit I led with a team at Charlotte Mecklenburg Library System. We were tasked with evaluating over 200 artworks, sculptures, artifacts, and other historic contributions gifted to the library’s 20 locations. This audit was done during unfolding events surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement. During this period many organizations and institutions were evaluating whether historic arti- facts and building names were insensitive to the communities they serve. My team made several recommendations to the county board the biggest
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