As a bookish organization we believe in taking action throughout the year with our money because – as the saying goes – money talks. Did you know that the Feminist Book Club gives back 5% of profits from their boxes to feminist nonprofits and organizations?
If you looking to set up some charitable action for the new year and want some other bookish and literacy organizations to give back to, here are three we recommend!
We Need Diverse Books
We Need Diverse Books™ is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and a grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people.
I first learned about We Need Diverse Books because they started promoting the hashtag #OwnVoices (although originally created by author Corinne Duyvis in September 2015) to highlight stories written by and about people of color. This hashtag was popular during a time where many advocates called out white authors for irresponsibly representing people of color in their books or not representing them at all. The organization does not use the hashtag anymore because it is a blanket label for all races, ethnicities, and identities. However some publishers still use the label (and on sites like NetGalley) as a performative marketing technique for diversity.
Promoting diverse books is a personal passion of mine. For so long I read only books so far outside of my own lived experience. When kids find themselves in the books they read, that is so important for identity formation.
A personal goal of mine from year to year is to read more books by and about LGBTQ+ people. So many LGBTQ+ books are being banned from libraries and schools. We need to protect these stories.
One bookish organization that works to elevate LGBTQ+ writers and creatives is Lambda Literary. Lambda Literary nurtures and advocates for LGBTQ writers, elevating the impact of their words to create community, preserve our legacies, and affirm the value of our stories and our lives.
This organization doesn’t just promote books written by and about LGBTQ+ people, but they also work to develop and cultivate LGBTQ+ writers.
Donate to your local library
Libraries are such important community staples. They are an accessible point of learning for everyone, and we should protect them at all costs.
Frequently, they are at the mercy of budget cuts and censorship. One way you can protect your local library is to give directly to either your friends of the library program or the 501(c)3 foundation associated with the library. And make sure you get a library card! Many places use the amount of library card holders to determine how much of the county budget goes to the library.
Another bookish organization you can give to is EveryLibrary. EveryLibrary helps public, school, and college libraries win bonding, tax, and advisory referendum, ensuring stable funding and access to libraries for generations to come. They are a political action committee advocating on behalf of libraries on the policy and tax level.
As readers, we have the responsibility to protect reading at all costs. We know how important reading is, for us to change ourselves and to change the world. Maybe this could be your 2023 refresh of our bookish resolutions from 2021? Maybe?