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"The Provision and Promotion of Culturally Diverse Texts for Children and Young Adults in Scottish Public Libraries." A. Howell. I. Ruthven. Department of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Strathclyde. 2017. Download PDF (BibTeX) ILS

In light of reports regarding the high level of racist and xenophobic abuse experienced by young people in Scotland, this research explores the role that public libraries can play in tackling discrimination and promoting a more open, socially inclusive society. Based on the belief that access to diverse narratives can help to combat prejudice and increase feelings of inclusion, the specific focus of the research is on provision of stock in public libraries which reflects cultural diversity.

The aim of the research is to assess both current holdings of culturally diverse texts for children and young adults in Scottish public libraries, and investigate the consideration given to such resources in collection development and stock promotion practices. The discussion explores the impact of supplier selection on current and future provision; the value attributed to culturally diverse texts by library authorities; the importance given to cultural representation versus linguistic representation in Scottish public libraries and the impact of "perceived demand" on provision.

It was discovered that a quarter of Scottish library authorities give consideration to culturally diverse titles for children and young adults in collection development policies, while over half of all library services include representation of cultural diversity as a more general stock criteria. While, a similar number of authorities included culturally diverse texts for children in their supplier selection, the comments of respondents raised concerns over staff reliance on mainstream suppliers and the potentially negative effect this could have on future provision. An assessment of initiatives currently in place to promote culturally diverse resources to children found that the majority of library authorities had devised at least one method of targeting this stock to young library patrons. The responses indicated that approaches to promotion of culturally diverse titles varied according to the authority, with some employing an "inclusive" approach and others a more tokenistic approach.