Mirrors and Windows

Mirrors and Windows Reading Experience

A mirror is a story that reflects your own culture and helps you build your identity. Seeing ourselves in literature is a gift. It is an empowering experience as a reader to see a protagonist whose life experiences relate to our own.

A window is a resource that offers you a view into someone else’s life experiences.
It is critical to understand that we cannot truly learn about ourselves unless we learn about others as well.

Participate in the Mirrors and Windows Reading Experience to explore the stories of our diverse world.
Discovering the experiences of others will help you connect with your neighbors in Mesa County.

Complete this reading experience by earning badges. For each badge, you will select and explore a title, reflect and/or share how the materials you chose sit with you. Each badge you earn will allow you to discover new stories or connect with stories similar to your own.

Discover diverse books, films, and more.

Ability Diverse VoicesAfrican American VoicesAsian American VoicesWomen's VoicesLatin American VoicesLGBTQ+ VoicesNative American VoicesVoices of those Experiencing Poverty & HomelessnessMiddle Eastern VoicesJewish VoicesVoices of Immigrants and Refugees

What is Mirrors and Windows?

The Mirrors and Windows reading experience is an all-ages celebration of culture focused on diverse books and films offered throughout our catalog. This idea stems from a movement called Read Woke started by Georgia-based school librarian Cecily Lewis. Lewis created this literature program with the goal of connecting readers with books that encourage diversity and awareness towards underrepresented authors and voices. Lewis's main goals behind the Read Woke program are to:

  • Challenge a social norm
  • Give voice to the voiceless
  • Provide information about a group that has been disenfranchised
  • Seek to challenge the status quo
  • Have a protagonist from an underrepresented or oppressed group

The title of this program, Mirrors and Windows, was adapted from a famous essay written by Rudine Sims Bishop, titled Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors. This reading experience emerged out of Mesa County Libraries' commitment to diversity and anti-racism and our Year of Focus.

Where do I find books, movies, and other titles to experience in order to complete this challenge?

Mirrors and Windows offers specially considered reading lists and recommendations for Adults, Teens, and Youth, and is a fantastic way for readers to broaden their knowledge of other cultures, identities, and experiences. (Added bonus - your choices for this reading challenge beginning June 1, 2021 can also be utilized to engage in our Summer Reading Program!)

How Do I Register?

How Do I Participate in Mirrors and Windows?

  1. Register on Beanstack. Check out this video on how to participate in Beanstack Reading Challenges using the Beanstack app.
  2. Select a badge category, and read/listen or watch a title that meets the requirements of that badge.
  3. Reflect how the materials you choose sits with you.
  4. Share what you learned! Encourage others to read diverse! Tell a friend, classmate, or colleague about the book you read and what you learned.

How do I share what I learned?

  • Submit a book/film review! You can submit a review one of the following ways:
    • In the Beanstack app
    • By telling a friend, classmate, or colleague about the book you read/film you watched and what you learned
    • On social media. Don’t forget to tag @mesacountylibraries on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter, and use the hashtags #mirrorsandwindows and #representationmatters when appropriate.
      Be sure to take a picture of what you're reading, or record a video of yourself giving the review (if you're comfortable, that is!).
      You can make a video review the same way our staff deliver our BookTalk video series! Just be sure to tag us so we can see it!

How many badges do I need to obtain in order to complete the experience?

You only need to earn eight of the eleven available badges to complete the experience.

How long do I have to complete this challenge?

Mirrors and Windows runs May 1 - December 31, 2021. If you read just about one book a month, you'll be able to complete the challenge by the end of the year!

Download the Beanstack app on the App Store or on Google Play to log your progress directly on your device!

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