Monthly Archives: January 2015

Library Featuring African American Authors


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Again the library’s collection surprises me. I had thought that it would be appropriate to have a February display of African American Authors to commemorate African American History Month. I thought I would find a dozen or so books that I could place on the display shelf of the library. Students would notice the books ( I hope!) on their right as they enter the library. The featured books each month share the same shelving unit as our new arrivals.
When I did a keyword search in our online catalog of “African American Authors”, up came over 2000 items. Granted a number of the entries were for ebooks but there were still way too many items for one display. I decided to try to whittle it down by looking in our 3 volume reference set, Notable African American Writers. The first entry is for the poet, Maya Angelou. Additional entries continue through the alphabet to novelist and poet, Al Young. I have to admit I hadn’t heard of Al Young but there were so many others I had heard of and whose works we own. There was James Baldwin ( Go Tell it on the Mountain); Ralph Ellison ( Invisible Man); Zora Neale Hurston ( Their Eyes were Watching God); and Langston Hughes (Fight for Freedom and other writings on civil rights), among others. As I studied the reference book of Notable African American Writers, I realized that I knew a poet that wasn’t included, at least not yet! The library owns a copy of Talking “White” by our own Maria James- Thiaw. Please stop by the library in February and discover African American authors and their works. It wasn’t easy selecting so few books out of so many possibilities. So many books, so little time!

Martin Luther King, Jr

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The Charles T Jones Library has what I consider to be a large number of books about Martin Luther King, Jr.
In our reference area, we have a 6 volume set of books, The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. You don’t need to read the entire set before going on to some of our other offerings. We have a book in our leadership room entitled Martin Luther King Jr., On Leadership that examines his leadership style. In our DVD area, we have a biography of MLK and a DVD of his I Have a Dream speech. In our regular collection we have books that feature his life, his speeches, his dreams and his assassination.
We have this wide array of materials because we need to learn from him. Martin Luther King, Jr was a great man who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for combating racial inequality through nonviolence. He was 35 when he was awarded this prize making him the youngest man to have received the award. He lived a short life but made such a difference in this world. We should look at him as a role model and strive to make a difference in the world or at least in our neighborhood!