[OYAN] Oregon Battle of the Books titles

Katie Anderson katiea at wccls.org
Thu Nov 21 08:33:06 PST 2019

I'm glad to learn the OBOB Title Selection Committees are working to better understand and address bias in books, and will be using a  bias checklist<https://fosteringreaders.weebly.com/uploads/1/1/9/7/119714809/biaschecklist.pdf> to help them select books going forward. Thousands of children and teens in our state read the OBOB books, and it is essential that we do our best to ensure harmful, biased books are not included and that students can find themselves represented in more than one OBOB book.

In case you're interested, I attached a document with some questions that may be appropriate for kids and teens to ask themselves when selecting books to read, during reading, and/or after reading.

Katie Anderson
Youth Services Librarian
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Hours: M-F 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM
katiea at wccls.org<mailto:katiea at wccls.org> |503-846-3209
wccls.org<http://www.wccls.org/>| Facebook<https://www.facebook.com/wccls/>|Twitter<https://twitter.com/wccls>


From: Kids-lib [mailto:kids-lib-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us] On Behalf Of Korie Jones Buerkle
Sent: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 4:05 PM
To: kids-lib at listsmart.osl.state.or.us
Subject: [kids-lib] Oregon Battle of the Books titles

Hello all,
On behalf of the Oregon Battle of the Books executive board I want to address concerns that have been brought to us about two books on the elementary list for 2019-2020. Specifically, concerns were brought up about racism in both Fablehaven (European "saviors," referring to a character of apparent Asian ancestry as "exotic beauty") and Fish in a Tree (positive stereotyping). Thank you to Katie Anderson and Holly Campbell-Polivka for talking through concerns and possible next steps.

As you probably are aware, once books are on the official OBOB list they remain on the list. However, we have taken increased steps to understand and address bias in the books we choose for our three Title Selection committees. This year Title Selection committee members received a copy of the Bias Checklist from Fostering Readers (Fostering Readers by Deborah Gitlitz, Jen Burkart, Kari Kunst, Kelli Scardina, NPC Research, OregonASK, and Washington County Cooperative Library Services is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License). This will provide a helpful structure for discussing concerns at the selection meetings.

We could use the help of our wider community for this year's nominated books. Links are now available for feedback (positive or otherwise) of nominated books for 2020-2021. The list of nominated books is available as drop-down in the feedback forms:
3-5 titles:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScINhbg-meWiuwuWW6-SZwxhUFn9LOw8J01hulS9ajyrRJwFg/viewform
6-8 titles: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeha-bNmtwpzwmybH9ow-2CsHXxBZPGoNjXAuKmx_ajNCfMqA/viewform
9-12 titles: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeNQCmCFRAgkMV80gCqqmqg6wosa84HnMUJWNBktTSNfOisA/viewform

If you have concerns about bias, racism, etc. in any of the books, please leave your feedback. Being as specific as possible is a great help, and we appreciate your time.

If you are interested in serving on future Title Selection committee you can apply at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdOCDPPWvPD_wfXQfrVSToVLu092zY_zVaPziM7BAWQI0ETwA/viewform. If you are interested in volunteering with OBOB in others ways, please let me know.

Thank you,

Korie Jones Buerkle (she/her)
OBOB Finance Chair
obobfinancechair at gmail.com
503-538-1944 (texts preferred)
obobfinancechair at gmail.com

OBOB is a volunteer-run organization, funded partially by an
LSTA grant through the State Library of Oregon.

Please visit our website at oregonbattleofthebooks.org<http://oregonbattleofthebooks.org/>
Watch an official battle here<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtTsoHtGTLg&feature=youtu.be>
Find the OBOB Handbook here<https://www.oregonbattleofthebooks.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/obob-handbook-2019-2020.pdf>

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