ALSC: The Importance of Diversity in Library Programs and Material Collections for Children
Children encounter diversity on a regular basis in their interactions with others at home, in school, or around their neighborhood. As our nation continues to diversify, it is essential that children learn to understand the important role of their culture and the cultures of other people in creating an overall global culture respectful of differences. One way that children learn about the world around them and other cultures is through the social messages found in stories. Stories help children understand how society perceives their culture as well as the cultures of their classmates, teachers, caregivers, and others, thereby influencing their social and identity development. Stories can be found in traditional print materials for children or in newer digital formats. Regardless of the format for delivering a story’s message, children are greatly influenced by the stories they encounter.