A Study of the Availability of Multicultural Children's Literature in Treasure Valley Schools: Quality, Access and Inclusion
The purpose of this study is to conduct an analysis of the availability of quality multicultural children’s literature in Treasure Valley elementary schools in Idaho. Participants in the study are composed of one third to all the schools in four different school districts. Current research suggests multicultural literature supports the psychosocial well-being of students in all classrooms. Exposure to a variety of cultures increases awareness and acceptance among students, reading multicultural literature encourages children to reaffirm the values of their own culture and come to appreciate those of others. Furthermore, multicultural literature, defined as literature that accurately portrays views and cultures of underrepresented populations, has a significant impact on students’ developing identities. For these reasons this study investigates and analyzes the quality and availability or lack of multicultural literature in elementary school libraries. The measure used to analyze the literature is composed of distinguished books that have received multicultural literature awards such as the Pura Belpre and the Coretta Scott King Awards. This study also takes into account the need for multicultural literature in the particular schools by comparing the demographic population of the schools and the relationship to the library’s inclusion or lack of inclusion of multicultural literature. This study proves of particular interest to teachers, administrators, librarians, and parents, especially when making decisions in regards to literature purchases and donations for school libraries.