Library Partners with Equal Read: Project Offers Easy Access to the Diversity of Berkeley Public Library’s Children’s Collections

April 28, 2016

Contact: Sarah Dentan
Acting Deputy Director
Berkeley Public Library

Berkeley Public Library Partners with Equal Read:

Project Offers Easy Access to the Diversity of Berkeley Public Library’s Children’s Collections

Berkeley, April 25, 2016—Berkeley Public Library is thrilled to offer a new online resource for kids and their caregivers. Berkeley Public Library’s children’s collections are now searchable with the phrase “equal read.” Equal Read’s engaging and highly recommended book selections feature a broadly diverse collection of characters that appeal to young readers. “By partnering with Equal Read, library users can now more easily find a wide diversity of books in our collections. This is a wonderful, new opportunity for us to better serve our community,” said Acting Deputy Director Sarah Dentan.

Founded as a nonprofit organization in Berkeley in 2013, Equal Read works with schools, libraries, academics, booksellers, and publishers, to build empathy with diverse books and curricula. This year, Equal Read is working with UC Berkeley’s literacy mentors at all of Berkeley’s Unified School District’s (BUSD) elementary after-school programs, building inclusive book collections that represent all learners. Next year, Equal Read plans to pilot its successful Equal Read Classrooms program at BSUD’s Emerson and Malcolm X Elementary Schools.

Berkeley Public Library’s new Equal Read collection tags not only help readers, parents, and caregivers find more diverse engaging books, they also serve teachers looking for appealing books with characters that have identities that are similar and different to their readers. Research shows that reading such "mirror" and "window" texts increases empathy, an essential 21st century skill for learning.

Please visit any Berkeley Public Library location for a demonstration of how this search technique can help you find more diverse books in Berkeley Public Library collections.

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