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Everyone is welcome at the BWG Library and Cultural Centre!

Diverse books, inclusive services and an ongoing diversity audit: how the BWG Library is improving its offerings
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As a Cultural Centre, the BWG Library knows it is important to lead the Bradford West Gwillimbury community in celebrating diversity and offering space in order to foster the free exchange of ideas.

“It is crucial to our community members that they have access to the resources required for a life filled with learning, understanding and acceptance; the BWG Library is committed to ensuring that these resources be inclusive and unbiased,” said Jennifer Harrison, Chair of the BWG Library Board.

The BWG Library Board is currently undertaking a diversity and anti-racism audit with a strong commitment to listening and learning from our community. The Board is working to create an action plan to address the vital work of anti-racism and promote diversity throughout the library, and is improving its collection with a focus on diverse authors and offering inclusive and culturally sensitive services.

Councillor Jonathan Scott, Vice-Chair of the Board, remarked, “This important work will guide our next steps towards ensuring we continue to do the very best job we possibly can to include and embrace the rich heritage of all the members of our increasingly diverse community. The Library is working closely with the Town on these ongoing efforts.”

“By choosing new material for our collection with a focus on including titles by diverse authors, our Collection Development Team strives to ensure a varied collection, representative of the voices found across Canada and beyond,” said Matthew Corbett, BWG Library CEO.

Members of local book clubs can explore themes of racism, inclusivity and diversity through Book Club Sets, which include titles such as ‘The Hate U Give’, ‘Stars Beneath Our Feet’, ‘Girl Woman Other’, ‘Washington Black’, ‘Born a Crime’, ‘Red Pencil’, ‘Becoming’ and ‘How To Be An Antiracist’, in audiobook, eBook and traditional formats. If you would like to explore these titles, you can reach out to infoservices@bradford.library.on.ca to request a copy of the BWG Library’s ‘Own Voices Booklist’.

For those wishing to actively participate in Black History Month events and programs, the Library invites you to visit the BWG Library on Facebook to find book recommendations and activities for all age groups. The BWG Library is hosting an all-ages Black History Month contest online with three categories (arts, education and literature) and all entrants for each category will be entered into a draw to win a gift certificate from event sponsor Sweet B’s for a half-dozen cupcakes. Click to learn more about the contest.

The BWG Library encourages community members to explore the Town’s Diversity and Inclusiveness Action Plan, available through the Town’s website at www.townofbwg.com/anti-racism.

If you have program, service or collection suggestions, please reach out to the BWG Library at bwgmailbox@bradford.library.on.ca. The BWG Library is committed to a community-led approach and invites your feedback and recommendations.

“By working together, these ongoing efforts are all part of our commitment to ensure that everyone feels welcome at the BWG Library,” concluded Board Chair Jennifer Harrison.