MEDIA RELEASE: Promote Diversity and Inclusion Through Sharing of Books
PORT COQUITLAM, BC – May 27, 2021…Do you have books to share that highlight diverse cultures and communities?
This spring and summer, Port Coquitlam is inviting the community to donate books to the City’s Little Libraries program that promote diverse voices and the opportunity for readers to explore different cultures and identities. Little Libraries are free neighbourhood book exchanges where anyone can take a book or drop off a book to share with others.
“It’s important that the books we read – and particularly those our children read – reflect the diversity in our community and recognize the valuable contributions people of diverse backgrounds bring to Port Coquitlam,” said Mayor Brad West. “We’re hoping our residents will use this as an opportunity to share books they’ve enjoyed reading and can bring important learning to others. It’s part of our ongoing work to make Port Coquitlam a community that welcomes and celebrates all people.”
In collaboration with the Tri-Cities Local Immigration Partnership (TCLIP), the City is taking part in the Read in Colourinitiative organized by the Little Free Library Organization to bring diverse books to little libraries around the world. The program supports TCLIP’s anti-racism initiative, Dismantling Barriers and Fostering Belonging, taking place throughout May, along with Asian Heritage Month and provincial Anti-Racism Week.
“Our hope is that the Read in Colour initiative will continue to connect and empower our community to be welcoming and inclusive for all,” shared TCLIP Co-Chairs Ryan Drew and Claire MacLean. “Books can act as mirrors that allow us to reflect on our own experiences, but they can also act as windows, opening us to experiences different from our own, and in the process increasing our understanding, empathy and inclusion of others.”
The initiative expands on the efforts of the City’s new Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Roundtable that launched in 2020 to help address issues of racism and discrimination. One of the top priorities identified by Roundtable members is to engage community members in celebrating Black, Indigenous, people of colour and LGBTQ2S+ communities, and to foster engagement with diverse experiences and identities.
“Books are a great way to bring people together in a community and expand our worlds,” said Cllr. Nancy McCurrach, Council’s designate for arts, culture and heritage.
Hosted by volunteer stewards, Little Libraries connect neighbours and provide a way for people to give to their community while promoting reading, literacy and access to books for everyone.
Through funding from Resilience BC, TCLIP will provide a selection of diverse books to the Program– augmented by the community providing book donations to their Port Coquiltam neighbourhood Little Library. The City is also seeking donations of children’s books, which have proven to be the most popular and in demand from the Little Libraries.
Little Library stewards will be invited to sign a pledge as part of Little Free Library’s Read in Colour initiative, indicating their commitment to read and share diverse books.
The City’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Roundtable and the Terry Fox Library have provided a list of diverse topics and book recommendations written by and reflective of people of different backgrounds, cultures and abilities.
Book recommendations, a map of Little Libraries across the City and information about how to donate books are posted at portcoquitlam.ca/littlelibrary.
About Tri-Cities Local Immigration Partnership:
The Tri-Cities Local Immigration Partnership (TCLIP) brings community leaders and organizations in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore and Belcarra together to develop welcoming and inclusive communities. For more details, visit tricitieslip.ca.
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Manager of Communications & Admin Services
City of Port Coquitlam
Tel 604.927.5335 Cel 604.218.0533