January 20, 2022

New From BookNet Canada: “On Diversity: A Survey of Canadian Readers 2021”

From a BookNet Canada Blog Post:

The On Diversity: A Survey of Canadian Readers 2021 report includes insights about the ways readers discover diverse books, what they consider to be a diverse author or title, their perceptions of diversity in the publishing industry, the topics they want to see more often in the books they read, and much more.


The study’s survey was fielded in January 2021 to 1,306 English-speaking Canadians over the age of 18, located throughout Canada, and representative of the Canadian population based on age, gender, and geographical region.

In this survey, we introduce the term “non-dominant identity.” This term serves as an umbrella to include one or more of Blackness, Indigeneity, gender, sexuality, disability, neurodiversity, class, family structure, age, religion, language, or other identities that are generally poorly represented or not advantaged. In the spirit of inclusion, we didn’t want to limit what could or couldn’t be included within the term so it was up to the respondent to decide if they wanted to identify as such — 41% of respondents said they always or sometimes classify themselves as belonging to a non-dominant identity.


What Readers Want

When asked about what readers, in general, wanted to see more of in the books they read, the top five ranking topics were:

  • Mental health challenges (46%)

  • Multi-cultural or immigrant experiences (46%)

  • Working class (45%)

  • Across ages or multi-generational (44%)

  • Rural or urban area living (42%)

The list changes when we switch the focus to the responses on just the readers who read more diverse books.

  • Across ages or multi-generational (58%)

  • Migrant or non-resident status (57%)

  • Neurodiverse/neurodivergent (55%)

  • Larger body size (52%)

  • Unconventional appearance (51%)

Of note, 86% of readers agree with the statement “Libraries should have more books by a greater variety of authors”, the same was true for a similar statement but focused on bookstores or retailers (85%), and on publishers (86%).

Read the Complete Blog Post/Summary

Direct to Full Text Report (Read Online and/or Download)
37 pages

Direct to PDF Version

Direct to EPUB Version

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.