Social Justice at Storytime
Promoting Inclusive Children's Programs
by Shannon Adams and Lauren Hough
September 2022, 149pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-4408-7639-4
$55, £43, 48€, A76
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7640-0
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Teaches storytime providers how to bring social justice and inclusivity to children’s programming.

Youth librarians and early literacy educators will find this book a helpful tool for making storytimes more inclusive and better representative of their community and the world at large.

Written by two experienced librarians from one of the nation’s most diverse metroplexes, Social Justice at Storytime provides a real-world, hands-on guide to storytimes that will help young people become more socially aware, empathetic, and confident. Storytimes can be a welcoming space for all members of the community. Anyone presenting storytime to young children can use these suggestions to broaden children’s understanding of the often-confusing situations they see and hear around them. It is possible to discuss race, gender/sexuality, and diverse abilities in a child-appropriate way. Making social justice a part of an existing or new storytime practice provides an early literacy approach to including children in timely conversations.

Readers of this thoughtful book will not only become more socially aware and empathetic, but they will also be equipped to choose diverse books and songs, make thoughtful and inclusive language choices, become more in tune with their diverse communities, and handle concerns from caregivers or administrators.


  • Understand the library's role in social justice and how to apply a social justice lens to current practices
  • Address community or administrative concerns
  • Learn to think more inclusively
  • Expand your knowledge of diverse book titles and techniques for picking new books and music
  • Learn how to consciously choose the language you use
Shannon Adams, MLIS, is an amateur storyteller and librarian who enjoys learning and helping to bring social awareness to children and adults. She is the west district manager for the Dallas Public Library, where she serves as a liaison between library staff, the community, and library administration to ensure that adequate and efficient services are provided to the public. She holds a degree in social work/sociology. She is also active with the Dallas Public Library Social Awareness Team for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, the Young Black Readers Newsletter, and the Texas Public Libraries Convening for Racial and Social Justice Initiative.

Lauren Hough has more than nine years of experience working with children and teens in school and public libraries and more than three years presenting social justice–themed storytimes and programming. While at the Dallas Public Library she was a member of the reader's advisory service, DPL What's Next, where she created diverse reading lists for children and teens. She presented at the 2019 Texas Library Association's annual conference on social justice storytime and welcoming English language learners to the library. She is now a member of the Frisco Public Library Youth Services team, where she leads youth technology programs.


"Adams and Hough go beyond the politics of social justice to show how promoting inclusion and celebrating diversity in storytime helps build character and social literacy in our youngest patrons. This book is a valuable training resource for all library staff, not just children's librarians. It reminds us how valuable library programs can be in developing safe spaces and building community."—Melissa Dease, Youth Services Administrator, Dallas Public Library

"This age of technology and media popularity makes it extremely easy for our children to receive a distorted picture of what life is about. Social Justice at Storytime is an opportunity not only to provide a space for marginalized communities to cope through literacy, but also to receive perspective and a paradigm for championing life in the face of surmounting challenges."—Louie T. McClain II, CEO, Melanin Origins
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