Spring 2020: The Race to Relate

In late Spring 2020, amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic, people worldwide have gathered in small and large demonstrations to protest the death of George Floyd and to draw attention to ongoing systemic issues.

1. Resource Links
2. eLibrary Highlights
3. Booklists
4. Read Woke Reading Challenge

Topic Keywords


In the midst of current events, certain established terms have become relevant and heavily used.

  • Anti-Racism: According to the National Education Association – Racial Justice in Education, Anti-Racism is “the work of actively opposing racism by advocating for changes in political, economic, and social life. Anti-Racism tends to be an individualized approach, and set up in opposition to individual racist behaviors and impacts.”
  • BIPOC: Stands for “Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.” The term sprouted from the BIPOC Project, an effort to quell racism and focus on relationships.
  • Black Lives Matter: A global organization founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s killer. The Black Lives Matter organization’s mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities.
  •  Racial Justice: According to Race Forward at The Center for Racial Justice Innovation, racial justice or racial equity goes beyond “anti-racism.” It is the absence of discrimination and inequities, but further, it is also “the presence of deliberate systems and supports to achieve and sustain racial equity through proactive and preventative measures.”
  • White Supremacy: According to Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice (page 138), white supremacy is the belief system that “rationalized and reproduces white advantage in the political, social, and cultural institutions of society. 

Keep yourself informed about current events through our newspaper resources, accessible with a Kern County Library card.

The Bakersfield Californian

The Bakersfield Californian eEdition

Where is the Californian?
For several years, the Kern County Library provided the e-edition of The Bakersfield Californian on its website. In 2020, the Californian changed its e-edition platform to PressReader. Because PressReader does not have an option for libraries to subscribe to newspapers within a limited geographical area, access to The Bakersfield Californian is no longer available via the library. Print copes are available at most branches and you can also access a limited number of articles online. 
The New York Times

The New York Times

Having won the Pulitzer Prize more times than any other newspaper, The New York Times is the 2nd most circulated newspaper in the nation and has worldwide readership. Explore breaking news, world news, multimedia, opinion pieces, and more. Topics in the newspaper include world topics, U.S. news, politics, business, technology, science, health, sports, arts, books, style, food, travel, and real estate.

Please Note a Few Limitations on NYT-related Mobile Apps:

  • NYT-related Mobile Applications are only available on personal mobile devices. 
  • The Crosswords app is not included, however, crosswords from the past week, as well as a handful from the archive, are available in the Crosswords section.
  • The Cooking app is not included, however customers can access recipes via the Food section.
  • Articles from 1923-1980 are not available on public library computers. On personal devices, customers have access to 5 articles per day in this date range.
Access with your Library Card 
Library Databases

Keep yourself informed with databases that consist of vetted, scholarly researched, accessible with a Kern County Library card.

Britannica School

Britannica School

Learn more about any subject – for all grades and all reading abilities – offering thousands of up-to-date, curated, and curriculum-relevant articles, images, videos, audio clips, primary sources, maps, research tools, recommended websites, and three separate databases (Elementary, Middle, or High).

Access with your Library Card  • Perfect for research 

Gale Interactive Science

Gale Interactive: Science

Imagine what it would be like to learn complex science concepts with more confidence and less fear. Gale Interactive: Science is a virtual lab that gives students in middle and high school grades the power to see beyond static text and embrace learning outside of the classroom.

Going beyond textbooks and traditional science curriculum, Gale Interactive: Science is a highly visual online learning tool that takes visual-spatial learning to the next level by bringing the lab to the classroom. High-value, rich-media digital content selected from authoritative classroom resources, like Gale In Context: Science and Gale OneFile, is paired with interactive 3D models to deliver a virtual laboratory simulation experience for students in middle school and high school grades. Students can entertain their curiosity and inspire grade improvement through an experience that allows zooming in, rotating, or pulling models apart to explore and experiment with complex scientific topics.

Access with your Library Card 
Gale Onefile Health and Medicine

Gale OneFile: Health and Medicine

Created specifically for students, knowledgeable consumer health researchers, and health care professionals, Gale OneFile: Health and Medicine is the perfect resource for up-to-date information on the complete range of health care topics. With more than 2,500 embargo-free, full-text periodicals, reference books, pamphlets, and hundreds of videos demonstrating medical procedures and live surgeries, Gale OneFile: Health and Medicine ensure that researchers get current, scholarly, comprehensive answers to health-related questions.

Access with your Library Card 
Salem Press

Milestone Documents in American History (Salem Press)

Access 133 full-text primary source documents with analysis and commentary.

In Library Only  • Perfect for research 

ProQuest Culture Grams

ProQuest CultureGrams

Access concise and accurate information on the countries of the world. Includes individual reports for 200+ countries, all 50 United States, and the Canadian provinces written and reviewed by in-country experts and updated regularly. The engaging interface includes a worldwide photo gallery, slideshows, video clips, famous people collection, Faces of the Worlds interviews, recipe collection, and data tables to help put facts into perspective and for comparison.

Access with your Library Card  • Perfect for research 

ProQuest: eLibrary

ProQuest eLibrary

The ProQuest eLibrary simplifies the research process, making it easier for researchers to select their topics and get connected with scholarly information. Includes more than 11,000+ editor-created Research Topics on a vast array of people, places, historical events and eras, literary genres, current events, broad curricular themes, and much more. Editor’s picks and trending topics make it easier to explore appropriate subject matter and get started. Includes primary and scholarly sources in 100% full text. Includes 1,700+ magazines, newspapers, transcripts, and digitized reference book content. Includes more than seven million images, maps, websites, videos, and interactive simulations.

Access with your Library Card  • Perfect for research 

Proquest Homework Central

ProQuest Homework Center

The ProQuest Homework Center provides authoritative information on a variety of topics to assist student research across multiple ProQuest platforms.

Access with your Library Card  • Perfect for research 

ProQuest: Sirs Discoverer

ProQuest SIRS Discoverer

A general reference database that provides age-appropriate, authoritative, curriculum-aligned content and features for use by students and educators in elementary and middle/intermediate schools. Supports assignments for grades 4 through 8. All content is curated by trained editors and indexed from 2,000+ reliable, high-quality sources.

Access with your Library Card  • Perfect for research 


Multiple statistics portals are compiling quantitative and qualitative information concerning current events.

  • Pew Research Center: A nonpartisan fact tank informing the public about issues, attitudes, and trends affecting the world. Findings presented include information about how policing and race intersect.
  • Statista: A leading provider of market and survey data. Information presented includes rates of police-related deaths.
  • Mapping Police Violence: Information presented has been sourced from 3 large, comprehensive, and crowdsourced databases on police violence (FatalEncounters.org, the U.S. Police Shootings Database, and KilledbyPolice.net). 
Additional Resources

Many organizations and institutions, locally and nationwide, have gathered information resources for the community.

Film Highlight

Just Mercy – Film
Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, Brie Larson

As of June 24, 2020, this title is available as a “Bonus Borrow” through the Kern County Library’s Hoopla platform. This film, once checked out, is accessible for 3 days.
eAudiobook Highlight

The New Jim Crow – eAudiobook
by Michelle Alexander

As of June 24, 2020, unlimited copies of this title are available on the OverDrive platform.

Educating Yourself Through Books



Teens & Young Adult


Join our Read Woke From Home Reading Challenge!

Sign Up NOW!

According to Cicely Lewis, the creator of the Read Woke movement:

Read Woke is a movement. It is a feeling. It is a style. It is a form of education. It is a call to action; it is our right as lifelong learners. It means arming yourself with knowledge in order to better protect your rights. Knowledge is power and no one can take it away. It means learning about others so that you can treat people with the respect and dignity that they deserve no matter their religion, race, creed, or color."

A Woke Book must:

  • 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

Discover diverse books, log activities, and READ WOKE by logging into your Beanstack account and joining our reading challenge!


Resources and links are provided for the convenience of the community and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or approval of products, services, or opinions of the corporation, organization, or individual.

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