The Diverse Families Bookshelf started under the combined efforts of UCF Librarians, Kristine J. Shrauger and Dr. Yolanda Hood. The project idea came to life when Kristine searched for books, to read to her daughter, that reflected their interracial family. Kristine’s search revealed two major problems: a scarcity of picture books depicting interracial families and the difficulty of locating them through the library catalog.
With the help of two grants through the ALA Carnegie-Whitney and two from the John C. Hitt Library at the University of Central Florida, the database was started. Now a team of librarians, staff and student assistants work to create a database of picture books, graphic novels and young adult books that highlight the broad spectrum of diversity found in today’s families. Initially, the database focused on identifying picture books and young adult books that featured interracial or LGBTQ+ families. After discussions and encouragement from librarians around the state of Florida, it was decided to expand the database to include books that cover health and disability topics.
Kristine J. Shrauger is the Head of the Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery Services department at the University of Central Florida. She has been in the field of interlibrary loan for the past 20 years.
Yolanda Hood, Ph.D. is the Carol J. McMurry Librarian for Academic Excellence at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. She has worked in libraries for fifteen years. Along with librarianship and teaching, Yolanda does research and publication in the areas of Children’s and Young Adult Literature, Book Culture, and Popular Culture. She is currently the editor of the Young Adult Library Services journal. She helped co-found the Diverse Families Bookshelf Database.
Amy Dovydaitis is the Head of the Curriculum Materials Center at the University of Central Florida. She earned her Masters of Library Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She had 20 years of library experience before entering the world of academia in 2018.
Emma Gisclair is a library technical assistant in the Curriculum Materials Center at the University of Central Florida. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Information from Florida State University, graduating in August 2020