Monday, March 25, 2013

NYPL Panel Discusses Diversity and Children's Books

Earlier this month, the New York Public Library's (NYPL) Children's Literary Salon hosted a panel called Diversity and the State of Children's Books. Moderated by Betsy Bird, the panel consisted of Zetta Elliott (author), Connie Hsu (editor at Little, Brown), and Sofia Quintero (author). Unfortunately, none of the Ink & Penners were able to attend, but here are some of the topics we've learned were covered at the panel.

Zetta Elliot examined:
  • What she sees as a direct correlation between the lack of diversity in people working in the children's publishing industry and the lack of diverse books published for young people.

Sofia Quintero discussed:
  • An excercise she conducted with students from the Bronx about unconscious stereotyping and book covers.

Connie Hsu shared about:
  • Her own experience growing up as a first-generation Asian-American in a rural Alabama town and how race, culture, and socioeconomic status can help or hinder people going into publishing.

The panelists also discussed the Youth Media Awards and issues with diversity. For example, the fact that none of the 2012 Newbery or Caldecott awards honored books by or about people of color and a study that found sixty percent of the Coretta Scott King awards go to twenty percent of writers.

It sounds like it was an excellent panel and we hope to see more like it in the future. You can find the pages we've linked to in this post below. If you are interested in diversity and the state of children's book publishing we'd encourage you to visit the links for more about what was discussed at the NYPL panel.

CBC Diversity: NYPL Diversity Panel Recap by Connie Hsu

NYPL Diversity Panel Graphics by Zetta Elliot

See What We Saw by Zetta Elliot

SLJ: Kid Lit Authors Discuss Diversity at NYPL

We Love Children's Books: NYPL Panel Discusses and the State of Children's Books

Did you attend the event? Have any thoughts about what you've read? Let us know below in the comments!

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