Unpacking Children’s Books for Stronger Community

I’m Your Neighbor Books Executive Director Kirsten Cappy is honored to by keynoting the 2021 NHSLMA Library Camp on their themes of WELCOME | INCLUDE | REPRESENT. Participants, watch this post for resources.

The Suitcase: Unpacking Children’s Books for Stronger Community

Our collections and future acquisitions hold the tools for a more equitable school and future. How do we assess those collections? How do we shift our lens? How do we feel comfortable recommending and programming with books that do not reflect our experience? Kirsten Cappy, the creator of book engagement guides for CuriousCityDPW.com and the co-founder of I’m Your Neighbor Books, offers research, tools, and inspiration for building cultural competency and modeling cross-group friendships and allyship with books.

I’m Your Neighbor: Creating an Environment Where Students Welcome & Belong

Immigration is no longer a story to be taught at the feet of the Statue of Liberty. Migration is a global story crossing many borders, including our own. The 1st-2nd generation story, while familiar, is also changing. How do we use picture books and novels to expand our thinking about who belongs in a diverse America? Kirsten Cappy, co-founder of the nonprofit I’m Your Neighbor Books, shares the Welcoming Library project and other efforts to use story to build cross-cultural conversations.


The Suitcase: Featured Book

Welcoming Library: Pop-up Immigration Picture Book Library:

The CAT: Diverse Picture Book Collection Assessment from Diverse BookFinder

Beautiful Blackbird Children’s Book Festival

Curious City’s 100+ free kidlit engagement tools for libraries.

Creating Conversations on Immigration, Welcoming & Belonging: With I’m New Here and Someone New (Reader’s Theater)

Publisher & I’m Your Neighbor Books Remove ICE from a Book

Book Talking Diverse Books: Alternatives to Old Stand-by’s from We Need Diverse Books

Discussing Microaggressions & Allyship with Unidentified Suburban Object (scroll to bottom)

Mini course on Intersectionality with Piecing Me Together

School-wide Read on Immigrant Allyship with Nowhere Boy (scroll to bottom)

Did I forget anything, friends? Remind me below!

Image © Chris Naylor-Ballesteros from THE SUITCASE