Equitable Access. All library patrons should be able to find content in their local libraries that reflect their own lives.
Diversity. We recognize all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) people of color, in the LGBTQIA community, who are differently abled, and/or who are in an ethnic, cultural, and/or religious minority.
Quality. We look for content that reflects intention, craft, and objective review.
Sustainability. Our Voices is meant to be self-sustaining, an ongoing effort effecting a permanent change in the landscape of publishing and librarianship.
Preservation. The content of Our Voices should be maintained for future readers and researchers. We will seek to find a persistent digital repository.
Communities find distinguished collections of diverse, quality, locally produced literature at their libraries.
Our Voices will offer a template to interested libraries to promote the growth of diverse, quality content in library collections. The initiative includes steps and will document successful approaches to:
– identify small, independent, and self-published content creators in the Chicago region
– connect with those content creators and other members of the reading ecosystem (especially independent booksellers and readers) for a conversation about diversity, quality, and the value of libraries
– develop collections of reviewed, diverse, quality content
– get these collections into the local library collection
– allow other libraries to acquire these collections.