May 26, 2022

Journal Article: “Diverse BookFinder: BIPOC Collection Development for Children’s and Young Adult Collections”

The article linked to below was recently published by College & Research Libraries News.


Diverse BookFinder: BIPOC Collection Development for Children’s and Young Adult Collections


Rachael Elrod
University of Florida

Brittany Kester
University of Florida


College & Research Libraries News
Vol 81, No 10 (2020)

From the Article

In light of the mission and values of the UF [University of Florida] Libraries and COE [College of Education], requests from students, along with documented and anecdotal knowledge about the lack of diversity in children’s and YA literature, we wanted to take a step towards promoting more diverse titles in our children’s and YA collection. We set out to examine our collection to see if we could improve representations in terms of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, bilingualism, immigrant and refugee stories, and internationally published books for children and YA.


DBF [Diverse Book Finder] was designed by researchers at Bates College as part of an IMLS-funded grant. DBF consists of a searchable database of picture books published since 2002 featuring BIPOC characters. It also includes a Collection Analysis Tool (CAT) that provides data on not only who is depicted in these books but how.

The DBF collection allows users to search for picture books and filter results using several broad facets: race/culture, tribal affiliation/homelands, ethnicity, immigration, gender, awards, religion, settings, content, and genre. One facet simply called “Categories” provides information that describes the “dominant messages conveyed” within the books, the how. These categories include:

  1. Any Child: Books in which a BIPOC main character is set in an everyday setting but their racial or cultural membership is not central to the plot.
  2. Beautiful Life: Books in which a BIPOC main character explicitly focuses on specific cultural components and are central to the plot.
  3. Biography: Nonfiction books about a person or group.
  4. Cross Group: Books portraying “relationships between named characters across racial or cultural differences.”
  5. Folklore: Books featuring the folklore of a particular group of people.
  6. Incidental: Books where BIPOC characters are nonprimary, secondary, or background characters.
  7. Informational: Nonfiction featuring BIPOC characters, but in which race or culture is not always central to the content.
  8. Oppression & Resilience: Books with BIPOC characters who experience injustice and/or struggle for justice.
  9. Race/Culture Concepts: Books that “explore and/or compare specific aspects of human difference.”

Direct to Full Text Article (HTML)
Approx. 2100 words.

Direct to Full Text Article (PDF)

Direct to Diverse Book Finder

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.