Thanks to some Southlake Girl Scouts, the Southlake Library now has 14 new multicultural books in their collection.

Inspired by a Ted Talk, The Danger of A Single Story by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Emma Henke, Elisabeth O'Callaghan, and Lauren Sims of Girl Scout Troop 4043 partnered with the Library on their Silver Award Project -- Everyone is Equal. The books they selected, which are now part of the youth collection, are titles that focus on diversity and culture.

"They have done such a great job curating titles thoughtfully," said Youth Librarian Stacey Wells. "I'm so happy that I've been able to work with them."

The donated books are the locally-focused part of their Everyone is Equal project. Emma, Elisabeth, and Lauren also have a global focus. They created an online survey and invited Girl Scouts and Girl Guides from around the world to participate. They then shared the answers they received on their Everyone is Equal website.

“In high school, the girls will pursue their Gold Awards, which is the highest individual award earned in Girl Scouts,” Troop Leader Andrea Sims said. “I hope their experience from their Silver Award, ‘Everyone is Equal’ project, will be used to develop their Gold Award projects.”

Elisabeth said several book lists were reviewed for their selections. “We selected recently published books from several lists, including: the 2020 ALA Youth Media Awards, #1000BlackGirlBooks, #ownvoices and Better with Books, by Melissa Hart,” she said.

Several aspects were under consideration when selecting the books. “When selecting books for the Library, we considered the main character, the author and content,” Lauren said. “Specifically, the books had to have main characters that represent a minority view point written by an author of diversity or color, and share ideas about cultures, race, religion, language and traditions.”

The girls hope that thier project leads to more donations. “We hope to inspire other troops to donate books to our library,” Emma said.

The donated book titles include I Will Always Write Back, Midnight Without A Moon, and The Stars Beneath Our Feet. Visit their Everyone is Equal website for a complete list of the books they donated.

Wells said this project is impactful for the Southlake community in many ways. “This project goes beyond benefitting our Library, it benefits the entire Southlake community. Kids seeing themselves authentically represented in books is empowering because they feel seen and heard,” Wells said. “Just as these books are important for all children because they create empathy and to understanding into cultures, religions, gender identity and more.”

The donated books will be spotlighted in the Library’s e-newsletter and on social media.

To learn more about these specific books, check one out or place one on hold, visit this website.

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