Chapel Hill Public Library launches fundraiser to diversify its book collection

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The Friends of Chapel Hill Public Library recently announced the launch of a new community-wide fundraising campaign, “Various Books for a Diverse Community”.

The campaign, which runs until Labor Day, aims to raise $ 15,000 for the Chapel Hill Public Library to increase the diversity of its book collection, especially for children.

While the library can meet some of its more diverse book needs through the city’s annual budget process, Susan Brown, director of the Chapel Hill Public Library, said that was not enough.

“We’ve done a really good job – we’ve been thinking about it for some time – but our collections, especially our children’s collections, are not as diverse as we would like,” Brown said. “We would like them to reflect more of the diversity of our community and our world.

Over the past two years, library staff have started a “diversity audit” of their collections, looking at what they buy and what voices and experiences are represented in those purchases.

“When they dived into the data, they found, like many places that have, that we still have work to do,” Brown said.

The Diverse Books for a Diverse Community fundraiser seeks to change that.

The types of materials the library plans to purchase with these funds include picture books featuring children of different abilities, books in languages ​​other than English, and young adult books about black adolescents written. by black authors.

Additionally, Brown said they hope to purchase more children’s books written by Asian American and Latino authors and books by LGBTQ authors that feature LGBTQ characters.

“So there’s this overall focus on children’s books because we know that when you’re reading as a kid, it’s really important to see yourself in the book and seeing the others,” Brown said.

Although the official public fundraising launch doesn’t take place until June 12, the library has already raised more than $ 3,600 after the campaign aired on social media last week.

The first event of the campaign will take place at the library this Saturday, June 12. To learn more about the Chapel Hill Public Library’s Diverse Books for a Diverse Community fundraiser, or to donate, click here.


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