Depictions of Diversity in Books Recommended for Storytime: A Cautionary Tale

Erin Ingram, Maria Cahill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Elements of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in diverse books support children's intellectual, social, and emotional development. Public library storytime programs serve as venues to showcase books with characters of varied backgrounds, identities, and experiences who may or may not reflect those of the communities the libraries serve. Because storytime providers often rely on online resources to plan their programs, it is important to investigate the presence and quality of EDI elements in books recommended for storytimes by these resources. The present study analyzed the text, illustrations, and WorldCat metadata for a random sample of 481 children's books recommended by six popular online resources for storytime planning. Results revealed an overall lack of EDI in the recommended books with few characters representing parallel cultures, living with a disability or chronic illness, practicing a religion other than Christianity, or communicating in a language other than English. The paper includes implications for storytime providers and library administrators in the areas of program planning, professional development, and program assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-416
Number of pages12
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.


  • children's programming
  • diversity
  • equity
  • inclusion
  • public library

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences


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