This paper explores the ways in which critical race theory (CRT) is used in the We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) campaign, which targets children's literature. WNDB has uniquely connected with its community from the beginning. By examining the campaign through the lens of CRT, the paper contributes points of action for library and information science (LIS) professionals to help support WNDB's momentum. It wishes to incite a sense of urgency in LIS professionals to better understand and utilize the depth of CRT's power to create a more equitable society for the community of youth that LIS practitioners serve. The push for diverse children's books is not a new one and has been championed by many for decades. One of these champions was Charlemae Rollins, an African American children's librarian at the Hall Branch Library, the first Chicago Public Library branch to open in an African American neighborhood, in 1932. However, only recently has the diverse-books issue achieved traction, thanks in part to the efforts of WNDB. LIS scholars and practitioners must ensure that this traction continues.


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pp. 508-522
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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