Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) are words being used a lot these days, including here at your library. They are even a part of our values statements:
We believe that a community flourishes when it sees itself reflected in its library and uses the library as a window for discovery.
One way to lend your voice is to register to participate in the community conversations around DEI that are happening this week. You have until tomorrow, Wednesday, January 27, at 9 pm to sign up for the Saturday, January 30 session. There are also affinity group discussions on Thursday, January 28. See the calendar for more information and contact Library Director Dawn Bussey at director followed by @gepl.org or 630-790-6760 to register. These meetings will be used to gather, inform, and plan for community events and practices that focus on the importance of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Maybe you’re not ready to join the larger conversation, but you’d like to do some exploring on your own. The library has many resources, including books for adults and for children. In the Youth Department, we just put together six Let’s Talk: Race playbacks to help guide important and challenging discussions with your families. And, as always, you can ask our knowledgeable library staff to make recommendations to support you on your path to discovery.
Last week, the Youth Department presented a virtual program called Diversify Your Bookshelf. Watch the recording on our library calendar here. We shared over 40 titles written for a preschool through 8th grade audience, and there are many additional books currently available at GEPL. We invite you to discover the ways books can help address difficult topics. But DEI isn’t all about difficult topics—it is also about embracing the beauty in our differences. Books can open us up to the joy and wonder in places and in life experiences that may not mirror our own, and they can build appreciation and empathy as they give us a window to see into the lives of others.