Diverse and Inclusive Library Collections
Diversity and inclusivity are core values of librarianship and are among the principles that guide the development of our collections. According to a statement adopted by the American Library Association:
Library collections must represent the diversity of people and ideas in our society. There are many complex facets to any issue, and many contexts in which issues may be expressed, discussed, or interpreted. Librarians have an obligation to select and support access to content on all subjects that meet, as closely as possible, the needs, interests, and abilities of all persons in the community the library serves. . . . Intellectual freedom, the essence of equitable library services, provides for free access to all expressions of ideas through which any and all sides of a question, cause, or movement may be explored.
Read the full ALA policy document on Diversity in Collection Development.
When considering the vast and rich collections we have in our libraries, which represent areas of the where cultures, languages, and literatures are quite different from our own, Scandinavia is probably not the first place that comes to mind. In fact, many think of the typical Scandinavian being a blonde hair and blue eyed Hans or Elsa—this is, in fact, not the case at all. Scandinavia has always had a rich diversity—even if not fully appreciated—and throughout time, this has remained present, but also changed in scope. Some of the minority cultures that I collect to represent the underrepresented in Scandinavia are Sámi both in the North Sámi language and translation, as well as Greenlandic, Romani, Jewish, South American, and newer migrant literature and culture books in translation.
These titles are contemporary North Sámi textbooks, but are only available in Norwegian, Swedish, and Finnish: