Orange Alert

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, located in 231 Sims Hall, is a unit of African American Studies (AAS). It is the University’s only departmental library – the work of African American students, who launched it in 1969 with one shelf of books in the former Black Cultural Center. Collaborations with faculty, staff, administrators, and external donors helped build the collection as part of their broader vision to make Black lives, histories, and cultural practices the focus of systematic academic inquiry. Thus students also pressed the University to create an AAS program, which became the library’s home in 1971. As AAS grew into a department, library resources continued to support interdisciplinary teaching and research about people of African descent.

SU Libraries ensures access to MLK Library holdings. The electronic catalogue leads users to digital and print materials in collections throughout and beyond the University, reflecting an institutional commitment to developing and maintaining accessible resources in diverse media formats and subject areas. The Libraries thus support the AAS Department’s contributions to the University mission of educating students and promoting scholarship across academic disciplines.

Today, student employees assist MLK Library patrons in locating sources to explore the varied experiences, societies, and cultures of African peoples and their descendants in the United States and other spaces of the diaspora.