building a diverse classroom library title image

How inclusive is your classroom library? Can all of your students find themselves represented in your books? Do you have books to introduce students to characters who are different from themselves? And how do you even evaluate the diversity of your classroom library? Classroom Booksource has an amazing tool to help build a more diverse classroom library!

Building a Diverse Classroom Library

You may already be familiar with the work by Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop on having books as mirrors, windows, and sliding doors for students. These important concepts can help guide our decisions about the books we share with our students and include in our classroom libraries.

Books as mirrors, windows, and sliding doors by Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop

Books as Mirrors

Books can be a mirror because they allow you to see yourself in the story or in the characters. Through mirror books students see a reflection of their own lives and experiences. These stories can help you feel like there are other people just like you.

Books as Windows

Books can be a window because they allow you to see into the lives of others who are different from you. Window books help you learn about different people, cultures, and places. Through these books we can see other worlds and how they are similar or different from our own lives. Students can build acceptance, understanding, and empathy for others through these stories.

Books as Sliding Doors

Books can be a sliding door that allows the readers to enter the worlds that are different from their own. By walking through the door with their imaginations, readers can experiences these new realities created or recreated by the author.

Classroom Booksource Overview

Classroom Booksource is an incredible FREE online tool to help teachers organize their classroom library. You can enter all of your book titles to keep track of what you have as well as set up a check-out system for students.

Read my Classroom Booksource tutorial to organize your classroom library.

Once you have entered your books into the system, you will receive a wealth of information about your classroom library. It provides an analysis of your books to tell you the ratio of fiction to nonfiction books and the percentage of books at each reading level. This information helps you decide which books to add to create a well-balanced library.

Classroom library reports provided by Classroom Booksource

Classroom Library Diversity Audit

The newest feature on Classroom Booksource is their Diversity Audit. This analysis provides a snapshot of how inclusive your library is for your students. It lists the student populations that are already well represented in your books and which ones are not well represented. You’ll also be provided book recommendations to make it more inclusive for the groups not currently represented in your library.

Watch this video walkthrough to see an example of a Classroom Booksource Diversity Audit.

In full transparency, the Diversity Audit is a phenomenal tool but it can be very time-consuming to enter all of your books into the system. Classroom Booksource provides an alternative way to evaluate the diversity of your classroom library without having to enter all of your books into their system. You can instead use their Inclusive Classroom Library Checklist.

Inclusive Classroom Library Checklist provided by Classroom Booksource

Have you begun the work in building a more diverse classroom library for your students? We’d love to know your suggestions for other tools to use or books to include. Share below!

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Building a more diverse classroom library with Classroom Booksource

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