From the Nominator
"The Leatherby Libraries and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Chapman University celebrated the launch of the first ever Black Book Nook on the first floor of the library in November 2022. The Black Book Nook Collection fosters education and community engagement with Black history, thought, literature, and culture. It currently has over 250 rotating books, and the collection is still growing.
The idea started when Dr. Reg Chhen Stewart, the Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Chapman, led a collaboration between Iowa State University and Ames Public library for a virtual Black book nook. He presented his work to the Leatherby Libraries and the library decided to bring a physical Black Book Nook to life on the first floor! Regarding the new addition, Dr. Stewart stated, “The Black Book Nook serves to reward the natural curiosity I find so ever present in the Chapman University students I meet.”
Also speaking during the launch was Misty Levingston, Director for Black Excellence and Achievement. During her speech, Misty quoted the late author Toni Morrison: “Books are a form of political action. Books are knowledge. Books are reflections. Books change your mind.”
In addition to the Black Book Nook, the Leatherby Libraries is pleased to offer expanded coverage within the ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Black Newspapers database."
From the Judges
The Black Book Nook at Chapman is a great example of the practical ways that different parts of the school community can put a spotlight on authors who, especially in academia, have been marginalized or otherwise underrepresented. We hope to see this kind of initiative at other institutions!