Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Winter(?) holidays

As far as diversity and inclusion is concerned, my library is all about good intentions combined with appalling ignorance of other cultures.

Today I had to send an email letting my coworkers know that if they want to put together 'winter holiday' children's book displays, they should stop putting Ramadan-related items on them. In someone's effort to be culturally inclusive, she put books about a holiday that began in June last year and will begin in June next year on that display. When I went to replace those items with ones that were more appropriate, I saw that no wonder she, a 60ish white Midwesterner, had been confused: our children's holiday books are shelved by the point at which they occur in the calendar year, starting with New Year's Day (or Eve) and ending with Kwanzaa. For some mysterious reason, Ramadan books are placed between Hanukkah and Kwanzaa--probably that's when Ramadan fell in the year that the holiday section was created.

I'm not sure how we're going to redo that shelving to accommodate holidays that are on a lunar calendar (ideas, anyone?) but I am sure that I'm going to push for a Ramadan-themed storytime or craft program in June. Attendance is mandatory for all white, Judeo-Christian librarians.

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