xvi Introduction on youth and young adult materials. My personal involvement with audits then focuses on materials for these age groups, but examples of how librar- ies have moved this process into adult services can be found through my colleagues featured in Chapter 4. As I will detail in Chapter 3, I have conducted diversity audits in my library. This has been a truly educational process that has served to broaden my understanding of the publishing industry today and the role that library staff have in influencing book decisions. I have learned a great deal by con- ducting diversity audits, continuing research, and having conversations with library staff from across the country. For this book, I contacted public and school library staff from every state and territory, as well as intentionally seeking out small one-room libraries, large systems, school libraries with a high percentage of students experiencing poverty, and libraries in highly affluent communities. All of these stories and experiences come from library professionals who serve their communities in an age of abundant race-based violence and a global pandemic that has only widened the gap between those with privilege and those without. I am extremely grateful to the librar- ians who shared their experiences with me. This book has been expanded during the course of its writing and, I hope, will serve as a useful tool on an ever-evolving subject matter. The first chap- ter is a necessary prologue to the reasoning behind diversity audits, which will make up the remaining chapters. It is a relatively brief look at the past 100 years of publishing and important book milestones related to equity, diversity, and inclusion (but mostly the lack thereof). With the development of the Newbery Award in 1922 and the Caldecott Award in 1938, 100 years of literary history seems appropriate to discuss here. These awards, as excit- ing as they can be and as problematic as they can be, recognize achievements in children’s literature and serve as a starting point in examining the role of books in a child’s life. Providing this information at the beginning sets the stage for what remains the absence of diverse stories in publishing is not new—it is part of the infrastructure. The alarmingly infrequent celebrations of Black and Indigenous people and creators of color are narrated alongside important moments in American history that influence these irregular occur- rences. The second chapter then discusses the history of diversity audits as I understand it, beginning with their uses in the business world before look- ing at how the same concept has been applied to libraries, predominantly library collections. Chapter 3 is dedicated to detailing what has proven beneficial for my collection in the context of my community, but also the important lessons I have learned along the way. My research and efforts in audits, as is true for anyone else, comprise a largely inexact science. People have complex identities and live in complex circumstances. Race and ethnicity play a sig- nificant part in diversity audits, just as these identities are a richly lived experience. I am a white woman in a predominantly white field, employed
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