Northern Michigan University's Lydia M. Olson Library is celebrating heritage and history months by inviting relevant student organizations to select books for its collection. The library team purchases the titles and creates virtual and physical displays about the selections.
Most recently, the library partnered with Women for Women to add books in honor of Women's History Month in March.
NMU junior anthropology major and Women for Women Co-President Jenna Chappell said that they selected eight titles. These include Our Bodies, Ourselves by the Boston Women's Health Book Collective, We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and A Hope More Powerful than the Sea by Melissa Fleming.
“We chose female-empowered books that we felt reflect our intersectional values and embody what we represent as a group,” said Chappell. “We strive to promote education on issues relating to women's rights, LGBTQ+ rights, sexuality, equality and civil rights.
“We think it's great that the Lydia M. Olson Library is promoting inclusivity and celebrating different causes by inviting a student perspective that brings renewed relevance and authenticity to the NMU library. Women for Women is especially honored and thankful to have been chosen to select books for Women's History Month.”
In February, NMU's Black Student Union (BSU) selected books in honor of Black History Month.
“I invited BSU students to expand our collection of Black authors, themes, stories and information,” said Leslie Warren, dean of Library and Instructional Support. “They could pick any type of book: fiction, graphic novel, nonfiction, children's literature and more. I'm very impressed with the books they selected.”
BSU Vice President Brianna Sartin, a junior marketing major, was interviewed by the Lydia M. Olson Library about her book selections.
“I picked four books overall,” said Sartin in the interview. “Each one of them kind of meant something different to me. Each one that I picked had a different theme or a different realm that it touched on.
"We Want to Do More Than Survive touches on the education aspect of what we learn when we grow up, what we're told and how that shapes us for our adult life. The Hate U Give kind of goes into identity, and that's one I related to on a personal note. The Color of Law goes into the sociology of why racism exists and why it's so prevalent in 2021 when it's something we thought we had tackled. So, each one of them touches on a very important part, but all of them touch on systematic racism instead of actual situations.”
Last semester, the Lydia M. Olson Library added books selected by Queers & Allies, the Latinx Student Union and the Native American Student Association. You can see the full list of books selected by the BSU and other student organization in the virtual display here.
Leslie Warren can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 227-2042.