Richland Library is fully committed to equity, diversity and inclusion. Our collections, services and programming reflect the broad range of viewpoints and cultures that exist in our community, and we remain steadfast in our mission to provide customers with unfettered access to information and safe spaces for all. 

Below you will find a variety of recommendations from Richland Library staff as well as blog posts and upcoming events. Additional resources on Race, Equity and Inclusion can be found, here.

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Richland Library Main

Augusta Baker and the Art of Storytelling

"Storytelling at its best is mutual creation. Children listen and, out of the words they hear, create their own mental images; this opening of the mind's eye develops the imagination." - Storytelling: Art and Technique by Augusta Baker and Ellin Greene

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Good Folk Tales and Fairy Tales for Storytelling

In their well-respected book, Storytelling: Art and Technique, Ellin Greene and Augusta Baker tell us: "A good story for telling is one that has something to say and that says it in the best possible way." Check out some of these books to learn more about the traditional art of storytelling and to find folk tales and fairy tales that have something to say and are written in the best possible way!
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Richland Library Edgewood

Dinner Table Talks: A Place Inside of Me: A Poem to Heal the Heart

Dinner Table Talks create the opportunity for families to have important conversations centered around books. These discussions will build our capacity for talking about race and define our roles in fighting against both every day and systemic racism.

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Read All About It: African American Experiences in Poetry

"for there is love inside me true love deep down inside of me I am in love with my people"-- A Place Inside of Me:  A Poem to Heal the Heart by Zetta Elliott   These #OwnVoices collections, picture books and novels for older readers explore themes of community and connection, family and faith, racism and resilience.  These books give poetic voice to African American experiences and history and should be read and shared by everyone.  
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Richland Library Main

She Changed Her Name

Many generations work together to reveal how Sojourner Truth fits in our history or herstory.

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The Asian & Asian American Experience through Novels for Middle Grade and Teens

For many children the first glimpse into the lives of others is through books. Taking time to read about, learn and appreciate others' differences is a stepping stone to equality, inclusion and acceptance of all. The booklist below focuses on novels for middle grade readers and teens about the Asian and Asian American experience in hopes of being able to create a window into the lives of others.
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The Asian & Asian American Experience in Picture Books

As important as having the hard conversations about racism, hate and discrimination with children is, they are very difficult topics to discuss. Taking time to learn about and appreciate others' differences is a stepping stone to equality, inclusion and acceptance of all. The booklist below focuses on picture books about the Asian and Asian American experience in hopes of being able to create a window into the lives of others.
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Let's Talk Race: The Asian & Asian American Experience

Reading books is a great way to begin working on becoming more anti-racist, and the words on a page can help provide insight into the thoughts, feelings, fears, pain, hopes, and wishes of another human being. Below is a list of titles about the Asian and Asian American experience, to get you started on having a better understanding of what it means to be of Asian heritage in America and how to be a better and more vocal ally.  Also, take a look at these past Richland Library booklists for more recommendations:
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Women Authors Who Broke the Mold

Women authors have been writing the best thought-provoking novels since the 1960s on. The genre of these authors ranges from Historical Fiction to Fantasy and Science Fiction, some with vampires, dragons, or aliens from space.  C.S. Friedman's title is coming soon. Looking for more? Check out our personalized recommendations here or call us at 799-9084.
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Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month: Graphic Novel Recommendations for YA Readers

March has been recognized as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month since 1987 when President Ronald Reagan issued a public proclamation urging Americans to provide individuals with developmental disabilities "the encouragement and opportunities they need to lead productive lives and to achieve their full potential." Developmental disabilities include disabilities such as cerebral palsy, autism, muscular dystrophy, down syndrome, or fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and affect a persons growth and/or cognition. The aim of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month is to raise awareness ab

May 29 6:30 p.m.

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Richland Library Online

Mama Can You Hear Me: Our Cry 2

Invite the family to this stimulating roundtable discussion of today's headlines concerning all ethnicities. Join us as we discuss the acts of symbolism, racism, injustices and more, with Teen Talk: The Youth Perspective and UNMASKED: The Adults Speak. A comparison of life vicariously seen through the eyes of teenagers and adults. Join us as we speak and remember their names.

May 01 10:30 a.m.

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Richland Library Online

DIA: A Celebration of Diversity

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Richland Library Cooper

Paving the Way: Celebrating Women's History Month

Few people are labeled the "first", but Navy Lt. j.g. Madeline G. Swegle is not your average sailor. As of July 31, 2020, she's officially the Navy's first Black female tactical air pilot, marking a significant milestone for naval aviation. Find out more about her and check out these books featuring women in uniform; their stories, achievements and determination.

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Richland Library Edgewood

Dinner Table Talks: Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You

Dinner Table Talks create the opportunity for families to have important conversations centered around books. These discussions will build our capacity for talking about race and define our roles in fighting against both every day and systemic racism.

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Let's Talk Race: Historical Fiction List Inspired by Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You

“But what some folks want you to be and what you is...well, sometimes they gonna be two different things. But you will always know who is in here. Got me? This is who you are.”--Karyn Parsons, How High the Moon Inspired by Stamped:  Racism, Antiracism and You, these books shed light and humanize history by allowing readers to go beyond dates and facts to get to know the true story.  
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Let's Talk Race: A Fiction List Inspired by Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You

“That's the problem. We let people say stuff, and they say it so much that it becomes okay to them and normal for us. What's the point of having a voice if you're gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn't be?” ― Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give Inspired by Stamped:  Racism, Antiracism and You, these stories give voice to the lives of today's teens and tweens--the challenges they face as well as their triumphs.  
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Richland Library Edgewood

#OwnVoices: Class Act

New Kid, the first graphic novel to win the Newbery Medal, is now joined by Jerry Craft’s powerful Class Act.

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Richland Library Edgewood

Read Woke Across America Week

Let’s show out children a world where everyone does not look the same, worship the same, or even think the same—and that this is the beauty of the world. Let’s teach them that in spite of our differences, we’re more alike than different, and learning brings us closer together. Let’s join together and Read WOKE Across America!

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Read Woke Across America Week: Woke Books for Tweens & Teens

Are you looking for a way to #ReadWoke Across America? This booklist will help guide you to finding great books for tweens and teens that challenge the status quo and gives representation to the underrepresented and/or oppressed. Read Woke Across America Week starts the first week of March in honor of Zero Discrimination Day. 
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Read Woke Across America Week: Picture Books

"So many picture books have powerful messages about immigration, racism, and other social justice issues. From English Language Learners to high school students and those with learning disabilities, all can benefit from picture books." -Cicely Lewis (Read Woke creator) Read Woke Across America Week starts the first week of March in honor of Zero Discrimination Day. 
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Richland Library Main

iRead: Jason Reynolds

Jason Reynolds is an author and poet who grew up in Oxon Hill, Maryland. Inspired by Queen Latifah and the other rappers he listened to in his youth, he began writing poetry at the age of 9. 

In January 2020, Jason Reynolds was named as the Library of Congress’s national ambassador for young people’s literature, a position designed to encourage young people to develop an interest in reading.

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Black History In Comics

Black history is rich with fascinating people whose names and lives deserve to be celebrated. Some of those stories are included below, representing different eras and walks of life. The power of art in nonfiction comics comes from how artists choose to depict the world and people in it. Experience some of that power for yourself by checking out one of these graphic novels in print or online.
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A Little Something Extra From Hoopla

When Ten Titles Is Not Enough Would you like to check out more graphic novels than 10 a month through Hoopla?  For the month of February you are able to search for titles under More Bonus Borrows.  Check back the first day of March for More Bonus Borrows.  You can then search for only comics under the Format bar on the left side of the screen.  Call your local librarian for more suggestions. (803) 799-9084.
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Richland Library Main

DIY Storytime: A Story About Afiya

DIY Storytimes are curated storytimes that families can share at home with an ebook, songs and activities.  

Children and adults alike will be mesmerized by the sweet story of Afiya and her dress, written by the late Coretta Scott King Book Award-winning Jamaican poet, James Berry, with fresh illustrations by Anna Cunha.

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Richland Library Eastover

A Taste of History

Collard Greens and Hot Water Cornbread

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Richland Library Edgewood

Stamped: Who Were They Really?

The construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, to create dynamics that separate and silence. Racist ideas are woven into the fabric of this country, and the first step to building an antiracist America is acknowledging America's racist past and present.

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Richland Library Edgewood

African Americans in Art: Beverly Buchanan

There is much more to Black history than civil rights activists and inventors. This project explores the cultural contributions of African American artist, Beverly Buchanan, and gives you the opportunity to make your own artwork inspired by her! Beverly Buchanan was born in Fuquay, North Carolina, but grew up in Orangeburg, South Carolina. She is best known for her shack structures which explore the Southern vernacular through architecture

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Richland Library North Main

Stamped: This is Not a History Book

"This is not a history book...." There's so much packed in that one profound statement that Jason Reynolds reiterates at the beginning of Stamped: Antriracism, Racism, and You by Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi.

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Richland Library Edgewood

#OwnVoices: Black History Is American History

Black History Month should not be just a time to celebrate African Americans who have paved the way for us all to thrive. It should be a time to challenge the stubbornly persistent tendency to teach Black History as a footnote to American history.

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Richland Library Edgewood

Dinner Table Talks: One Crazy Summer

Dinner Table Talks create the opportunity for families to have important conversations centered around books. These discussions will build our capacity for talking about race and define our roles in fighting against both every day and systemic racism.

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Richland Library Main

Negro League roots in Columbia

Columbians have long enjoyed watching baseball. But did Columbia ever have a Negro League team?

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Richland Library Main

#OwnVoices: Bring On the Blessings (Book #1 of Blessings series)

When a post-Reconstruction African-American community succumbs to a desperate need for funds and purpose, its mayor puts the small town up for sale and finds a buyer in Bernardine Brown, who believes the town's sale to be a sign from God. 🏠🏠

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Let's Talk Race: A Book List Inspired by 1619

Inspired by the New York Times' 1619  audio series hosted by Nikole Hannah-Jones, each title in this list corresponds to the thematic elements of an episode. For episode 3, listen to our curated playlist in Freegal.  
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Women Making History for Tweens & Teens

From Vice President Kamala Harris to Michaela Goade, the first BIPOC woman to win a Caldecott medal, these are just a few of the women making history in 2021.  Let's be clear.  Women have always made history.  Sadly, they have been overshadowed, overlooked or just plain erased from many history books.  But no more.  Discover unsung heroes and (good) troublemakers in these books and appreciate the impact that women have made.  
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Richland Library Main

iRead: Women Making History

From Vice President Kamala Harris to Michaela Goade, the first BIPOC woman to win a Caldecott medal, these are just a few of the women making history in 2021. 

Discover unsung heroes and (good) troublemakers in these books and appreciate the impact that women have made.  

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Booklist: Exploration for fun

Exploration Generation   Do you want to explore history and geography, whenever you want?  Then welcome to a new way of thinking of generations. Ask your local librarian for even more suggestions!
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Richland Library Main

#OwnVoices: The Women of Brewster Place - A Review

Weaving together the truths and the myths of their lives, Gloria Naylor creates a powerful, moving portrait of the strengths, struggles, and hopes of black women in today's America. - Penguin Publishing

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Richland Library Main

#OWNVoices: Hip-Hop Lollipop

Teeth brushing

Music crushing

Bass thumping

Shoulders pumping

Head rotation

Jubilation!

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Richland Library Edgewood

#OwnVoices: 2020: a Year in Children's Literature

If you are like me and have missed out on some of the new titles of 2020, don't worry, you can find #OwnVoices books published in 2020 for both younger and older children here.

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#OwnVoices: Children's Middle Grade Books of 2020

As important as it is for young children to see themselves in pictures books, it is equally important for older children to be able to read stories with characters they can relate to. Diverse books are greatly needed for middle grade readers. Below you can find a list of books for older children written by African Americans. “What diversity advocates are working for is an industry that honestly, accurately and equitably represents the world we live in.”—Mike Jung, author of Unidentified Suburban Object
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#OwnVoices: Picture Books of 2020

All children should be celebrated in children's books. For young people, seeing themselves reflected on the pages they turn is such an important and meaning experience. We desperately need more diverse books and more #OwnVoices authors and illustrators to represent the black and brown community. Below you can find a list of picture books published in 2020 written and/or illustrated by African Americans. “When kids grow up not seeing themselves in books they grow up feeling like they don't matter.” —Eric Smith, author and associate literary agent at PS Literary

May 13 6:30 p.m.

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Richland Library Online

Let's Talk Race

Richland Library is hosting its popular Let's Talk Race series on Thursday, May 13th from 6:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m. 

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Richland Library Edgewood

Dinner Table Talks: Nian, the Chinese New Year Dragon

Dinner Table Talks create the opportunity for families to have important conversations centered around books. These discussions will build our capacity for talking about race and define our roles in fighting against both every day and systemic racism.

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Read All About It: Lunar New Year

On February 12 of this year, Lunar New Year will begin and will introduce the Year of the Ox. Every lunar new year is a time of celebration throughout Asian countries and the Asian American community to bring in the coming twelve months, according to the traditional Chinese calendar or lunar calendar. Lunar New Year typically begins on the lunar calendar's first new moon and ends fifteen days later on the lunar calendar's full moon. Read the stories listed below to learn more about the Lunar New Year celebration!
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YA Reads: 1st in a Series

A new year is upon us, which means it's time to stock up on some more books.  How about stocking up on a new series? Listed below are the 1st books in a YA series. Beware! Some of the series are not completed yet, and others are on their way to becoming a tv series and/or feature film.  Enjoy!
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Richland Library Main

#OWNVOICES: Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory

Vivian couldn’t decide what appealed to her more, hot coffee and fresh scones, or that man in the corner who looked like a tall mug of hot chocolate. ☕📚

Why choose?

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Goodreads Choice Awards: Best Books of 2020

The 12th Annual Goodreads Choice Awards, the only major book awards decided by readers, posted the winners December 8, 2020--after three rounds of voting that started late October 2020. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig won overall best book of the year. Listed below are the winners for all 20 categories ranging from Fiction, Humor, Memoir & Autobiography, Food & Cookbooks, Graphic Novels, Debut Novels, Picture Books and many more. 
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Oprah Magazine Best Books of 2020

"Books are both solace and inspiration. They light the way, even while enabling temporary escape from life's worries...we wanted to share the best books 2020 had to offer." - Oprah magazine 
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Amazon Editors' Top 20 Best Books of 2020

Every year Amazon's Editors select 100 titles they deemed as the best books to represent that year. Titles vary from literature and fiction, mystery, thriller, and suspense, romance, cooking, food, and wine, children's books, and many many more. 
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Richland Library Edgewood

Dinner Table Talks: Inside Out & Back Again

Based on the author's own childhood, Inside Out & Back Again tells the story of a pivotal year in the life of a South Vietnamese family.  Once a wealthy family with two parents, 1975 brings a reversal of fortune for Hà, her brothers and mother. 

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Richland Library Main

#OwnVoices: Celebrating Differences

It is our job as parents and caretakers to ensure our children know that everyone deserves respect, regardless of differences. We all were uniquely crafted and it is our differences that makes the world so interesting.

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Richland Library Sandhills

At What Age Did You First Become Aware of Your Race?

Join the conversation. Getting to know one another a little bit better helps us develop a deeper understanding across races, challenge racism, and move ever closer to racial equity. 

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Friendship

Friendships near and far Connecting with friends and family, we are able to listen to each other's experiences.  Let these items show us that we are not alone in how it feels to be human.    Looking for more? Check out our personalized recommendations here or call us at 799-9084.
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Richland Library Main

Let's Talk Race: A Culinary Conversation

"The man and the woman who became enslaved enslaved the palate of those who enslaved them. From feijoada, to jambalaya, we flipped it on ’em. And we keep flipping it on ’em."
--
Michael Twitty

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Richland Library Edgewood

Dinner Table Talks: Going Down Home with Daddy

This 2020 Caldecott Honor book gently and proudly tells the story of Lil Alan and his family as they return to his father’s childhood home in the South to celebrate traditions and family history.

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Read All About It: Diverse Families in Novels

Family is what holds these stories together as the characters experience life-changing moments, face difficult truths and each other.   Looking for even more good books?  Check out our personalized recommendations or call us at 803-799-9084. Find more resources on race, equity, and inclusion, here.
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Read All about It: Diverse Families in Picture Books

Celebrate all kinds of families and their love for one another by reading these wonderful picture books with your very own family. Looking for even more good books?  Check out our personalized recommendations or call us at 803-799-9084. Find more resources on race, equity, and inclusion, here.  
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Richland Library Sandhills

Stories of Struggle: A Book Review

Claudia Smith Brinson's Stories of Struggle: The Clash Over Civil Rights in South Carolina shines a light on some of South Carolina's most influential pioneers of social justice.