2 AUDITING DIVERSITY IN LIBRARY COLLECTIONS Rimland discusses, “This law might seem trivial in our day and age, but it harkens back to times when books were often chained to bookshelves and locked in rooms away from the patrons who wanted to use them.”2 This reminds us of the history of librarianship as literal gatekeepers of informa- tion and the necessity of that change, but we can expand on that thought as well. As one part of the book industry, libraries have an important role to play. We often serve as the only point of access by which our patrons are ever introduced to a book or author, and so it is our collective responsibility to remove as many barriers to this access as is possible. If libraries are truly filled with books to be used, books for every reader, then not only must the books themselves be accessible to people so, too, should the stories con- tained within. The characters and their creators should provide an accessible narrative in which every reader sees themselves reflected in the pages. ­ Ranganathan penned these five laws in 1930, almost 100 years ago, and I would argue that these principles have not changed, that libraries should always strive for such equity. One might assume then that libraries would have been at the forefront of leading the charge for novels representative of their communities, pressuring publishing houses to contract with marginal- ized authors and bring diverse stories to readers. This has not been the book experience. To fully understand the role that equitable, diverse, and inclusive literature plays in libraries, particularly public and school libraries, which often serve as a child’s primary access to books, we must have a broader understanding of the history of diverse literature or the lack thereof—diverse, here, mean- ing outside white, able, heteronormative. Throughout modern publishing there have been numerous “firsts” as more works are being published by authors and illustrators of marginalized identities. These firsts, though his- toric in nature, are not limited to the deep past of long-ago eras. There are still many more firsts to go, particularly in honoring the achievements of creators who are openly LGBTQIA+, authors with physical disabilities and/ or chronic health issues, and neuro-atypical authors. While each achieve- ment in publishing, each bestseller, and each award is worthy of celebration, there is undoubtedly room to mourn the infrequency of certain celebrations and the distance between firsts and seconds. ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF DIVERSITY 1920s As the publishing industry that we know of today has evolved over the last century to what it has become in this millennium, there have been and will continue to be many firsts along the way. With its establishment in 1922, the Newbery Medal was intended “to encourage original creative
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