On Thursday 19th January, Show Racism the Red Card Scotland visited the Mitchell Library in Glasgow to deliver anti-racism workshops to Scottish librarians. These attendees were a mix of both secondary school librarians and Glasgow Life community librarians eager to engage in a series of conversations around supporting children, young people, and adults to experience libraries that are welcoming, inclusive and involve diverse collections.
The workshop consisted of racial literacy training, familiarising participants with core concepts including identity, stereotyping, erasure, othering, gatekeeping, intersectionality, discrimination, bias, and diversity. There was ample opportunity for large and small group discussion, centred upon inclusive communication and empathetic ways of working, while ensuring that lived experience was acknowledged and amplified via recorded testimonials.
This was followed up with a collaborative activity in which participants discussed strategies
where libraries across Scotland have begun to, and will continue to, better integrate a range of diverse books within their collections. In addition, librarians shared best practices for how to promote, support, and where appropriate, lead, anti-racism education as well as popularising books with inclusive and diverse themes both within their catalogues and as part of displays. During this time many attendees co-designed diverse reading lists from books they had read and would personally recommend.
During this process participants reflected on the powerful impact of curating and promoting a diverse reading catalogue within their libraries and how it can impact their reading communities. We hope that these conversations were as useful and interesting to Scottish librarians as we found them!
SRtRC Scotland would like to extend our thanks to the Mitchell Library for hosting us, and the attendees for their stimulating conversation and unique perspective on diverse reading lists. We look forward to engaging in further partnerships and similar projects in the future and are excited for planned collaborations to mark World Book Day.