Bridgton Public Library is pleased to announce participation in a national and statewide program to bring ethnic and cultural awareness to library collections. Bates College, with the support of the Institutes of Museums and Library Services, developed the Diverse BookFinder Collection Analysis Tool to help schools and libraries analyze their picture book collections to identify gaps in racial and cultural diversity in library collections. Based on the work of Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop started over 30 years ago, picture books can act as either (1) “mirrors” in which children can recognize characters like themselves, building a sense of self-esteem and significance, or (2) “windows“ that introduce children to characters whose lives are different from their own, fostering curiosity, understanding, and empathy.
At the beginning of 2020 The Maine Humanities Council, with the support of the Brooks Foundation, made small grants available to Maine public libraries to help fill gaps in racial and cultural diversity in their collections. Bridgton Public Library received funding in March, 2020 and has been anxiously waiting for deliveries. Our books are starting to come in and are available for you to put holds on! The list of new books purchased with this grant will be included in our July newsletter and available through our online catalog for quick access. Images of the books will be featured on our FaceBook page (facebook.com/bridgtonlibrary) and on Instagram (@bridgton.lib.me).