Monday, January 16, 2012

The Kings and Libraries

There are no fewer than 19 libraries throughout the world named after Martin Luther King, Jr. according to the lib-web-cats directory of libraries (Library Technology Guides). One of them is a unique collaborative experiment serving both my Alma mater, San José State University Library, and the San José Public Library serving the city of San José, California.

It is an unusual arrangement because public and academic libraries are very different in their purpose, mission, constituents, organizational structure, funding, support, and governance.

We both have books and a variety of other information resources, but if you visit both the library of Hope International University and the Fullerton Public Library you will notice very little overlap in our collections. For example, the Darling Library does not concern itself with the latest best sellers, children's books, or books on crafts, cooking, genealogy, or local history but you will find that the FPL is a good source for all of these.

I searched for books with "Martin Luther King, Jr." in the title and found 20 in the Darling Library. Six of them are also held by Cal State Fullerton but none are among the 85 found in the FPL.

Another King connection to libraries is the Coretta Scott King Award which is one of the most prestigious book awards given by American Library Association.

Today we take the day off to observe a national holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dedication, writings, speeches, and sacrifices made for human rights. He continues to be an inspiration.

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