Did you know that the 135th Street Branch of the New York Public Library was the “place to go” during the Harlem Renaissance? Or that one of the first civil rights sit-ins took place in a library?
This year, Gleeson Library is commemorating Black History Month with an interactive display about African American Librarians, Libraries, and Library History.
The display begins with a panel about the 135th Street branch and the team of innovative librarians that, during the 1920s, helped turn the library into an intellectual hub that represented and celebrated its African American community. The display also considers how Nikki Giovanni’s poems about libraries remember the implications of segregation in the United States. Finally, the display features information about contemporary African American librarians, including the first woman and first African American to become the Librarian of Congress – Dr. Carla Hayden, who was sworn in last year.
African American librarians and libraries are an important part of American history — one that Gleeson’s display hopes to encourage people to learn about and engage with this particular month, and beyond.
Throughout February, the library also has on display a collection of books by authors who were recommended by student members of the Womyn of Color Conference Committee at USF.
For more information about about other Black History Month Events at USF: https://www.usfca.edu/news/celebrating-black-history-month-usf.