Everybody In – Inclusion And Diversity Charters for the Children's Book World

This website introduces the new Inclusion and Diversity Charters, how they were developed and how different parties can sign up to them.

The key aim of the Everybody In charters is to help all those involved in the book world to move forward in making books more inclusive. However it has been important for these charters to be developed in close liaison with publishers, booksellers, libraries and schools, and other relevant organisations, rather than as an independent recommendation. The key to Inclusive Minds is its collaborative nature, drawing together all relevant parties to work together.

A roundtable event run by the Diversity Initiative of the Children’s Book Council in the USA allowed participants to come up with action points that they could put into place to take inclusion in children's books a step further. These were a valuable source of material that helped in the development of the UK charter. At the UK version of the event A Place at the Table, participants came up with their own action points and these, along with feedback from delegates after the event, allowed us to tailor the charters to the UK industries, and take into account what the signatories of the charter felt was possible. Over half the delegates were from the publishing sector, but crucially the event also involved attendees from bookselling, library and school backgrounds and relevant book organisations. 

We realise that the responsibility for getting inclusive books into the hands of children doesn’t just lie with publishers, but with everyone working with children and books, including booksellers, librarians and teachers. To this end we decided to develop charters for these groups as well, so that we can take collective responsibility. The Publishers Association, Independent Publishers Guild, EQUIP and The Booksellers Association have fed into the publisher and bookseller charters. We are continuing to work with library and education organisations to ensure the charters truly work for those industries so appropriate equivalent material for these audiences will be launched at a later date.

The charters represent a way for organisations to demonstrate how ‘inclusively minded’ they are, and offer practical and achievable ways of ensuring real change. We hope as many organisations as possible will now come on board, to demonstrate real unity and commitment across the children’s book world. To sign up, they need to agree to the general points, and then decide on one core and two supplementary action points to work on. These action points should be worked on over two years, and then discussed and revised . Signatories should also get in touch annually with Inclusive Minds to keep them up to date on how they are working towards these action points.

Signatories will be listed on this website along with their action points, and will be able to display the ‘We’re IN-clusively Minded’ logo on their website and literature.

The charters will be regularly reviewed, and we’ll be considering aspects such as whether a universal set of action points, removing the elements of choice, might be more consistent, or whether their should be a tiered sign-up system, depending on the number of action points chosen. Any changes will be publicised after a 12-month review.