STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WTAJ) – Efforts to ban books of all genres are impacting communities across the country, but a recent study has shown books with diverse characters are essential for all students.
A study conducted by First Book, a literacy nonprofit, has highlighted the importance of having a diverse set of books in libraries. The study looked at 450 classrooms over six months.
The study showed that classroom libraries stocked with diverse titles resulted in increased time spent reading by students. It also showed that students who had classroom libraries with diverse books have significantly higher reading scores.
“We all love books and stories that reflect our own lives and it’s critically important,” Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book said.
Classrooms that offered bilingual books saw reading scores jump by 7%.
Zimmer says teachers surveyed in the study turned to their students and resources in their communities, like Schlow Centre Region Library in State College, to diversify their libraries.
Schlow Library offers a variety of resources that they utilize to promote diversity in the library.
“When librarians in any public library or any library at all are considering their collection, they’re always considering their community,” Maria Burchill, Head of Adult & Teen Services at Schlow Library, said.
Throughout October, Schlow will host their Global Perspectives Teen Series. This series will focus on manga, k-pop and even kimbap. On Oct. 21, Schlow will host Manga Day, featuring a KitKat taste test, talks with manga translators, trivia and a cosplay panel. On Oct. 22, the series will host a read it/watch it of popular manga and anime series Spy X Family by Tatsuya Endo.
Schlow will also host a Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration on Oct. 10. There will be games, arts and crafts, music from a variety of Hispanic/Latino cultures and the chance to taste some traditional snacks.
Schlow even has a “banned book” display, offering readers titles that have been banned in other states.
For those wanting to learn more about some of these titles but unable to go to the library in-person, Schlow highlights one of these titles every month in the State College Municipal Newsletter.