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Get to Know

Our Vision

All children and all families have a valued place on OurShelves, and therefore all children and all families are valued, period.

We envision a world in which all children have access to high-quality, varied stories that both affirm their own identities as well as positively introduce them to the wide range of humanity existing within our world.

Our Dual Mission

Connect you to existing high-quality diverse kids' books

We deliver curated, high-quality diverse children's books to the doorsteps of the busy families, teachers, librarians, and others seeking them. Your membership helps to prove the currently under-estimated audience for diverse books to publishers.

How We Choose Our Books
Advocate for diverse children's books.

We advocate for the diverse books under attack. We also collect feedback from you about who and what stories you're still seeking. We share this feedback with publishers, all the while proving how large the audience is for such books through our growing membership.

Be Counted By Advocating

Our Curation Team sets us apart

Our Curation Team brings expertise from academia, librarianship, teaching, psychology, child development, anti-oppression work, and parenting to our book review process. 100% of the team also has the lived experience of being under-represented in children's books.

Our Founder's Story

Hi there! I'm Alli, the founder of OurShelves. Our nine-year-old, Anna, and three-year-old, Isaac, have two moms. We want Anna and Isaac, and all children, to be able to see themselves, and beyond themselves, in the stories they cherish. But it's still too hard to find the books we seek. (See this blog post I wrote about why we launched OurShelves.)

We quickly learned from our friends and networks around the country and abroad that we are not alone. So many of us are craving to grow our bookshelves to reflect our own families as well as our values of equity, anti-racism, social justice, inclusion, love, and fun. But it's hard. Impossibly hard sometimes.

It's difficult for two reasons. First, what few high-quality diverse stories do exist are often too hard to find. For anyone. Let alone us -- already busy people at the busiest time of our lives. Second, there aren't enough high-quality diverse kids' books. Period.

OurShelves is here to help on both fronts. First, our incredible Curation Team, who lives and breathes diverse kids' books, connects these hard-to-find books directly to you. OurShelves takes on the heavy lift of researching, staying up-to-date with new releases, and then delivering to your doorstep the very best of today's diverse children's books.

Second, we are working to accelerate and expand the picture book industry's production and distribution of more high-quality diverse kids' books. We are collecting your feedback on who and what stories remain missing on OurShelves. We share this feedback with publishers, while ensuring them that when they create responsive content, we stand ready to buy it in ever-growing significant numbers. Learn more.

As President of the Maryland ACLU during that state's marriage equality victory, as Executive Director of the Cleveland NAACP's Vote Big, Vote Early 2008 program, and as the Parent Voices Statewide Organizer organizing parents across the state of California to protect the child care subsidies of 59,000 children, I have repeatedly experienced how committed groups of people can come together and create significant change. Here, at OurShelves, together, we will change the picture book industry.

Thank you for joining us on this journey. Together, we are going to ensure ALL children and ALL families have a place on OurShelves.

With gratitude,

Alli, Founder of OurShelves