Introducing our first Community Initiative
Medfield Together is working to build and stock Little Inclusive Libraries (LIL) around our community with children’s picture books, young adult literature, and fiction & nonfiction books for all ages. These books are selected for their alignment with Medfield Together’s social justice values, including anti-bias/anti-racist themes, diverse characters, social emotional learning, critical thinking, activism, community building, and more.
To support the Little Inclusive Libraries, please visit Park Street Books & Toys (at 504 Main Street in Medfield) to purchase books from Medfield Together’s “LIL List of Books”.
Little Inclusive Libraries feature mostly “own voices” books
#OwnVoices means books featuring underrepresented characters are written by authors who share the same marginalized identities as those characters, rather than a person who is not a member of that group writing as a character from an underrepresented group. (This concept was originally called #Ownvoices by writer Corinne Duyvis.)
MSH LIL, installed in December 2020, is located in front of the historical chapel at Bellforge (site of the future Cultural Alliance Arts Center) on the former Medfield State Hospital campus.
Park Street LIL was installed in February 2022. It is located at Park Street Books & Toys at 504 Main Street in downtown Medfield.
We are also helping to stock books at the “little library” funded by the Beginning Years community at their North Street location.
LIL List of Books
LILs are stocked with books selected for their alignment with Medfield Together’s social justice values, including anti-bias/anti-racist themes, diverse characters, social emotional learning, critical thinking, activism, community building, and more. We created our LIL List of Books at Bookshop which helps you easily find books of various themes and relevance to our mission. (See a snapshot of the list in the image to the left)
We highly encourage you to use this book list and then visit Park Street Books to make your purchase, supporting our local business. If you choose to purchase a book through our Bookshop page, Bookshop will share 10% of your purchase with us so we can put it towards our various initiatives.
Questions to ask when choosing inclusive literature
- What identities does this book present as “normal”?
- What identities are “main” characters?
- What identities are “supporting” or “background” characters?
- Does this book reinforce or disrupt any stereotypes?
- How closely does the author identify with the group they are writing about?
Questions to ask during reading to build critical thinking skills & social emotional literacy
- Why do you think this character is doing that?
- Why do you think that happened?
- What do you think will happen next?
- How do you think this story will end?
Empathy building questions
- How do you think that character feels?
- How would you feel in that situation?
Problem solving questions
- What would you do if you were this character?
- What other options could they try?
Recommend a Book
BUILD: Interested in joining our efforts to create, build, and install LILs in Medfield? Fill out our membership form to join.
DONATE: All of the books in the Little Inclusive Libraries are vetted by Medfield Together. If you would like to contribute a book to the LILs, visit our Bookshop page where you can view our vetted book list. While you can order the books through the Bookshop page, we highly encourage you to support our amazing local bookstore, Park Street Books. You can order books by visiting Park Street Books in person at 504 Main Street in Medfield, calling the store at 508-242-3083, or checking out their website – www.parkstreetbooks.com.
CONTRIBUTE: Our first GoFundMe fundraiser has closed due to overwhelming response from our community! Thank you for supporting equity and inclusion in our town. If you are interested in contributing to the LIL initiative, consider donating books (see above).