Report: “This Academic Librarian is Working to Make Children’s Books More Diverse”
Amanda Melilli wants libraries to reflect the lives of their readers.
An academic librarian at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), Melilli is the head of UNLV’s Teacher Development and Resources Library (TDRL), which supports the university’s College of Education as well as educators in the Las Vegas community. In the past decade, the library’s focus has particularly shifted to helping educators find and use inclusive materials.
“The mission of the TDRL has definitely evolved over time and it continues to evolve as we better understand the needs of our community,” says Melilli, who joined the library in 2013. “… While we were trying to reimagine ourselves as an academic library, the #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement was gaining momentum, and it really solidified for us what it was we were trying to accomplish: to get teachers to use materials that their students will want to be engaged with in the classroom so that they will be empowered in their own learning.”
“Librarians have a critical role to play in promoting equity, justice and inclusion because our field is based on information, and we know that information is controlled and limited in a variety of ways,” she says. “If we aren’t educating ourselves on issues related to equity, justice and inclusion, we can’t possibly fully serve our communities. Like so many other professions, we need to rethink what we’re doing, challenge traditions, and make room for more voices.”
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.