The Talon Tribune

The Student News Site of Silver Creek High School

The Talon Tribune

The Talon Tribune

Building Diversity in the Library

Mira Hunt
Book display in the “Inclusivity Corner” of Silver Creek’s library.

Quiet, but busy. An environment that gives you the gift of experiencing, firsthand, the immortalization of multitudes of people who found the confidence to explore their creativity and share it with the world. You not only know that the bookshelves you walk past and through hold this power, but you can feel that vibrance in the air you share with them.

Windows adorned with this month’s decorations: colorful “Women’s History Month” lettering above an accompanying book display. To some, these monthly rotations may not seem important, but to others, this is a celebration of their identity. A part of them that they may not have been told they should be proud of. A safe space for those who may not have known they need it.

Silver Creek librarians Tina Fredo and Kristin Holtz are making the school’s library more diverse and welcoming by amplifying minority authors in the book collection.

According to the American Library Association, the majority of the most challenged books in 2022 either include depictions of those in the LGBTQIA+ community or issues involving race; justifying minority censorship by labeling books that touch on topics like sexuality and race as “sexually explicit”.

In 2022, almost 51% of material censorship demands came from schools and school libraries.

Destiny, a book cataloging system that tracks a collection’s diversity using tagged descriptors, gives Fredo and Holtz hard statistics to crack down on the variety that the library may be lacking.

“When I started three years ago, [the collection] was about 30% diverse and it’s now really close to 50%,” Holtz said.

Fredo and Holtz also use Destiny to keep the collection physically and socially current.

“We went through the process of weeding, which means removing things that are outdated, really old or worn that need to be replaced–” Fredo said “or even problematic,” Holtz added.

Building the library collection’s diversity is just the beginning of Fredo’s and Holtz’s continuous strive for inclusion.

“[Building the collection’s diversity is] where we have to start. It’s also [recognition] through promoting different types of books.” Holtz said. “We honor the different national months like Hispanic Heritage Month and Black History Month; Women’s History Month…We try to do book displays that represent different groups as much as possible…even our puzzles.”

However, inclusion does not come without its difficulties.

“The challenge whenever you are speaking about or working with diverse groups is knowing your own limitations and recognizing your own limitations.” Holtz said.

Fredo’s and Holtz’s main goal still stands:

“I don’t want us all to be so insular that we aren’t considerate of other people. It’s about being considerate and polite.” Holtz said.

“If you think of [the library] like a restaurant; why would you serve meat if everybody’s vegetarian? You want to have a bit of everything for everybody.” Fredo said.

It’s the little things that people put their heart into that fill your own with reassurance that this is a safe space: that you are wanted and appreciated here. Short exchanges with the librarians who say “It’s good to see you” and truly mean it. Paper lettering strung across windows that means so much more than what it says.

“[Inclusive] is what a library should be. A library is for everyone.” Holtz said.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Mira Hunt
Mira Hunt, Staff Writer

Mira is a senior at Silver Creek High. This is the first year she has taken Journalism. She decided to take the course because writing on targeted and varying topics is, personally, an interesting and new experience. Mira is passionate about everything relating to English, as a subject: music, reading, writing, poetry, philosophy, and filmography. In her free time, she reads, journals, and listens to music. She is excited to take journalism because she is excited to gain a new skill.

Comments (0)

All The Talon Tribune Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *