I’ve decided to embark on a summer project because I don’t have enough to do applying for graduation and learning about Correctional Librarianship. I’m planning, over this Summer, to create a series of Alternative Book Lists. For lack of a better word (I’m currently sick & uncaffeinated so the brain thesaurus is down.)

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I’m using “Alternative” b/c these lists will be alternative to standard book lists. What in Mr. Wednesday’s name does that mean?

Most Book Lists are from fairly established (and often entrenched) publishers and organizations. The protagonists are often white CIS-Het folks who are able-bodied. A lot of the time if there are POC in the works, they are still written by white folks, or autistic characters are written by non-autistic people etc and the result is at best inauthentic and at worst, offensive.

I want to create a series of book lists that are written primarily by and about POC, and especially Women of Color, Disabled Authors/protagonists, Autistic Authors/protagonists, ARO/Asex Authors/protagonists, Enby Authors/protagonists, Lesbian authors/protagonists, Gay authors/protagonists, Bisexual authors/protagonists, Trans authors/protagonists, Native Authors/protagonists, Muslim authors/protagonists and on an on. I want these lists to be intersectional as well, crossing categories. I want this to be an evolving, updated project. I want (and need) input from people to develop these lists. I want these lists not just to build a better collection for my patrons, but for other librarians to look to when creating collections.
I’ve come across a lot of great book suggestions when I’m going through my TL and I know I would love a book list to go to and there aren’t many out there that aren’t by publishers or the ALA etc. So, I’m doing it myself as a reference for myself, but I’m also hoping others will help me and find it useful.

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Currently I have several lists in mind that are very general, but I’d love suggestions and over time I want to branch out to have genre based lists or at least tags. I’ve listed some of the ideas above (and I plan to break down POC into multiple lists: Black, Asian, Multiracial, Latinx etc).  I’m sure I’m not the first person to think of this. I realized that it’s really difficult for me to keep up with all the great authors and titles I see on my TL and I wanted to collate them for easier use as I build my library’s collection. So yeah, it’s also a selfish (or should I say shelfish?) project.

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For now I’m focusing on books print & e-books but I’d like to expand the concept further to reading lists that include online only content. If you are an author or reader who has a suggestion, let me know! Now it’s time for coffee.

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