The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Public libraries should have more diversity in their displays

shunya koide/unsplash
shunya koide/unsplash

IRENE DOMINGUEZ
campus editor
irene.dominguez370@my.tccd.edu

The atmosphere of walking into a public library is not as inclusive as it should be. 

Another week and another display table is put together and approved by management at the library. Oh look, it’s a basic American holiday or event that everyone knows about. Where is the diversity?

The DFW area has seen tremendous growth in recent years and is one of the most diverse metroplexes in the nation. But in the public libraries the tables stay basic. People from all walks of life should feel seen when they walk into their neighborhood library.

The library is a place where people can go to learn about areas and people from all over the world and the tables should reflect this goal. The purpose of every neighborhood having a library is to serve and reflect the community around it. This includes every person with no exceptions.  So why does it not seem that way? 

With more people moving into Texas every single day there are more opportunities to champion inclusivity. So why not start with a simple display or poster to truly illustrate the different ways of life around us? 

Unfortunately, rampant discrimination has created so many negative situations for people in our community and this is an opportunity to counteract that hate. 

There is also the issue of book banning that is affecting libraries everywhere at the moment. Some books that have been pulled from shelves are those centering on LGBT groups. I think showing visible support for these communities is important because we need everyone to be seen.

One reason people ban books is because they are afraid of anyone different from them. What they fail to realize is that these unique people make up their neighbors and friends. They just lack representation in spaces like libraries. 

The mission of the library is to promote access to information for all so the atmosphere itself should be welcoming for all. 

I do not think that allowing people to get comfortable with being close-minded is the right thing to do, in fact it can be dangerous. It tells certain people that they are more important and valued in society than other people around them. This could lead to certain groups being stereotyped and discriminated against.

A small display on a table can seem like something so small but it can make an impact on someone’s day and their worldview. It can allow a person who might deal with issues of marginalization to be seen. What better place than a public library. 

Instead of possibly contributing to people being divisive, the library could cultivate curiosity about the world around us. 

No institution is perfect. There will be mistakes made in our efforts to be inclusive but there is no learning without mistakes. The effort by management to make a more inclusive space for all at the library can benefit everyone. 

 Diversity is not just a buzzword that people can use to seem relevant. It is an entire mindset. Libraries need to do better and try harder.

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