Home Info Accountability Statement & Guidelines BFL Group: Rules of Engagement

BFL Group: Rules of Engagement

via Ashia
Please shut the gate sign on gate

[Image: A wooden gate with a little metal plaque that says ‘Please shut the gate.” Photo by Florencia Viadana on Unsplash.]


Books For Littles Facebook Group Rules of Engagement

This guide is for members in the Books For Littles Facebook group. Below, you’ll find out who is welcome, what we do in this group, and guidelines for creating new posts, commenting, and keeping each other in check.

Check out the Raising Luminaries Accountability Statement for details on how to behave.

2020 Update: This group is run for Incendiaries, by Incendiaries

From 2014-2020, I (Ashia R.) used this space as a page to write about the challenges we face raising kind and courageous humans, with a focus on picture books as tools to get started. Now that I see how social media content creators are complicit in profiting the powerful on the backs of targeted people, I’m moving away from social media entirely. All of the new resources I offer are now available centrally on the Raising Luminaries website (www.RaisingLuminaries.com)

It seems cruel to shut the group down entirely during a pandemic. We need a space to discuss ideas and connect during a time when we’re feeling isolated. We still have years of helpful resources in the post archives and this is a space where people feel heard and find solidarity in shared values. So I’m handing this space over to our Incendiaries to maintain connections and keep up the discussion on your own.

I’ll appoint a set of moderators to approve new members and posts and keep out the trolls. But this is a shared community. So we’re relying on you to behave. Or misbehave, as is often necessary to transform injustice.

Who Are the BFL Group Members

  • Raising Luminaries Incendiaries are caregivers & educators igniting the youngest generation of kind & brilliant leaders (ages 0-10)

How Members Use This Group

  • Submit requests about the challenges we face raising kind and courageous kiddos to solicit book suggestions.
  • Connect with like-minded families who share values of courage, kindness, and smashing the kyriarchy.

New Members

  • To keep members safe, I ask questions to make sure you are not a robot/spammer.
  • If you request membership but don’t respond to any questions within 7 days, we’ll decline the request.
  • Feel free to re-apply if you were declined.

Posting Guidelines


A post is when you write stuff at the top of the group page, where it says “Write something.” Posting is not a free-for-all, and we have strict guidelines on how to create a new post to keep the discussions relevant and prevent opportunists.

  1. Posts must be requests for feedback, advice or resources.
  2. Posts are for ASKING, not telling.
  3. Request posts are held in queue pending moderator approval.
  4. Moderators will approve one request per day to avoid clogging the feed. (2 if there is a long queue).
  5. If you’d like to include a decorative image or gif with your question to make it stand out in the feed, that’s fine. But no self-promotion or sneaky stuff!
  6. Posts with images MUST INCLUDE AN IMAGE DESCRIPTION. Moderators have the right to decline your description-free post with a request to re-submit with an image description.
  7. To accommodate dyslexia & other folks with reading disabilities – break up large chunks of text. Use carriage returns & soft line breaks early & often. (cmd+enter for mac, shift+return(?) for PC).
  8. Given the emphasis on requests only, I can’t think of a reason why anyone would post a link to anything outside the Books For Littles website. Feel free to link to the BFL site with questions like “What new books have come out recently to add to this list?” or “Has anyone else with a 5yo read the books on this list, which worked for you.” Consider carefully whether non-BFL links violate post guidelines.
  9. Self-promoting your website/blog/org/business or a crowd-fund, or even a fun thing you like and wanted to share in main posts is prohibited. Save those for the comments (see below.)
  10. REPEAT: Posts are for requests, not your opinions. Not a link to your blog. If you just now in this past year discovered anti-oppression work as a person with privilege and decided the world needs your insight instead of your help boosting #OwnVoices, DO NOT POST HERE.
  11. If you mess up once, we’ll decline the post and remind you of the guidelines. If you keep pulling that same shit we reserve the right to boot you.

Commenting Guidelines

Commenting is when you add text, images, and links to the discussion.

  1. Everyone is encouraged to comment with helpful book suggestions that you have personally read and find helpful. None of this “I heard these are good” or “I found this on the internet and assume you haven’t tried google.” or “My kid’s teacher recommended this to me.” You tested this with your kids first hand and it worked for you.
  2. In general, try to stick with Bookshop.org links to books because they support more indie bookshops than Amazon.
  3. Suggest non-book resources sparingly, only if you have personally vetted this resource and truly think it could help the original poster.
  4. Links, gifs, and images in comments are fine. USE IMAGE DESCRIPTIONS. It’s not okay to exclude people who need these from the conversation. We shouldn’t have to ASK for this.
  6. But no GROSS self-promotion – and this boundary is going to be wiggly, since it’s a ‘know it when you see it’ situation. Be transparent on how you benefit.
    1. FINE: Recommending individual Usborne books with a link to it on Bookshop.org
    2. SHITTY: Recommending your Usborne pyramid scheme or predatory group designed to sell stuff.
    3. FINE: “I wrote about this on my blog” with a link to your blog
    4. SHITTY: “Check out this great blog post!” with a link to your blog. We know you’re thirsty for clicks, Estelle.
    5. FINE: “I wrote a book about this that touches on this subject” with a link to your book
    6. SHITTY: Link to the order page of your book where members have to deduce through sleuthery that you get a cut of the profits. Ewww.
    7. FINE: “I send out a book subscription for kids where we send out books about that exact challenge you’re having” with a link to your business.
    8. SHITTY: “You should sign up for this book subscription service” with a link to your business and no mention of how you profit. Staaaap.
    9. ALWAYS AWESOME: “Oooh! Raising Luminaries has an article / book collection on that!” With a link to a relevant BFL collection or older group post for new members who haven’t seen it yet. +10 Points to you, good friend!
  7. Anything that feels weird or gross or like ad copy or marketing will be deleted without notice.
  8. I’m trusting members (particularly accomplices) to take on the emotional labor of calling bullshit on problematic content.
  9. If you do something problematic and get called out – don’t you DARE dirty delete. These are learning lessons for bystanders. Dirty-deleters will be immediately banned.
  10. Members are encouraged to screenshot folks who are likely to dirty delete or edit their comments. Because [sigh] they always do.
  11. IMAGE DESCRIPTIONS. USE THEM. Dear goodness how many times do I have to say this?

Facilitator Guidelines

Moderators are the people who can approve new members or kick out jerks, pause commenting on a post, and have my personal contact info to call me in if things go off the rails.

Facilitators are members who step in to de-escalate a conflict or call attention to problematic posts or comments. Any member can (and should, if able) take on the role of facilitating the conversation.

  1. I can no longer read posts and comments and step in – so I’m trusting you to keep our values of KINDNESS and COURAGE in mind when you post, comment, and facilitate.
  2. Facilitators should prioritize #OwnVoices resources, comments, and replies to requests, particularly on controversial posts.
  3. But also, just because you identify as the identity represented in a book doesn’t give you the right to be abusive or shitty. Speak your truth without feeling the need to police yourself – but remember we’ve got multiply marginalized folks in the group and everyone here matters so don’t be an asshat.
  4. We will be evaluating comments according to impact on the people who are most harmed, not intent of the people doing harm.
  5. Do not ask me (Ashia) to personally respond to your post. That stuff is reserved to the website now that I’m off social media. PLEASE DO NOT HUNT DOWN MY PERSONAL CONTACT INFORMATION IT CREEPS ME OUT.
  6. Actually, don’t assume I’m reading anything in the group. I’ll only visit if I get tagged in by a moderator and need to re-align the group with a “CUT THAT OUT” post to reinforce our integrity and center marginalized voices.
  7. Moderators reserve the right to remove, call out, or otherwise eliminate harmful suggestions, such as to websites that have promoted bigotry or are just plain shitty (again, know it when you see it situation).
  8. Members keep in mind that moderators won’t (and can’t) vet comments and suggestions, so folks can follow those rabbit holes at their own risk.
  9. Facilitators, feel free to point out if a member is recommending a book, organization, or literary trope widely known throughout the BFL community as problematic.
  10. Facilitators – please ask commenters who fail to use image descriptions to add them. Feel free to cut & paste this script: “Please use image descriptions in your comments so our Blind & low-vision and members with low data connections aren’t excluded from the conversation.”

Affiliate Disclosure

  • We use affiliate links to help support this work and the monthly contributions we make to #OwnVoices organizations.
  • Ashia Ray & Books for Littles are participants in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees (at no cost to you) by advertising and linking to amazon.comBookshop.org, and also Little Feminist Book Club.

Rules of Contact

Need to report a boundary violation, but you want to do it anonymously because you don’t feel safe tagging a moderator or requesting a fellow member facilitate?

Here is how to let me know directly if something nasty is happening. Rules of Contact & Responding to Feedback.

Acceptable Use Of These Documents

Everything we do here is praxis in creating a kinder, more courageous generation in an effort to make these resources accessible and available for all. If your organization would like to hold yourselves up to similar standards of accountability, feel free to copy, and spin off of these documents as a template for your own accountability guidelines.

A credit back to this page via link, attributed to Raising Luminaries (or both) would be nice, but is not necessary. Patreon support would be even nicer!

Become a Patron!

This document was created & last edited July 2020 by Ashia R. These are living documents that you can expect to change over time.


Also Helpful: Link list of statements, guidelines & policies

Add Your Thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Accept Read More

Skip to content