From brightly illustrated children’s books to the latest award-winning fiction and nonfiction titles, the SUNY Canton Center for Diversities and Inclusion and the Early Childhood Program are adding volumes to the Southworth Library’s book collection, part of the Learning Commons of the college. .
Between spring 2022 and this semester, the college added 145 new credentials with a particular focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). All new books are currently displayed on the second floor of the building.
“We were very excited to launch a collection that celebrates the many different people both on our campus and around the world,” said Access Services Librarian Halie Kerns. “Our goal is to help everyone find a part of themselves in the library and learn about the experiences of others in the process.”
Kerns added that the library has had a long-standing goal of increasing the diversity of reading options and that the current display allows titles to be presented comprehensively, rather than tucked away in the general collection.
Associate Professor Emily Hamilton-Honey, Ph.D., said she and Diversity Director Lashawanda Ingram have contributed book suggestions. Both are the college’s co-chief diversity officers. “We frequently receive calls from other SUNY schools asking to borrow titles through interlibrary loan,” Hamilton-Honey said.
According to Maureen P. Maiocco, Professor of Early Childhood, Ed.D., the new books can help children understand and celebrate differences.
“When a parent or teacher is faced with questions derived from a young child’s observations and natural curiosity, a high-quality book can provide a way for both teacher and child to engage in a experience of story reading and discussion, creating a classroom of acceptance, tolerance and celebration,” said Maiocco.
The college will continue to grow the collection, which currently includes titles ranging from acclaimed American author Colson Whitehead, an assortment of gender-focused books and LGBTQ+ topics, in addition to Native American selections.
“A lot of the collection consists of new titles that no one else has been able to obtain,” said Leah M. Fitzgerald, Instruction and Outreach Librarian. “We encourage everyone to come check it out and welcome suggestions from the campus community to help drive growth.”
As Upstate New York’s premier college for career-focused bachelor’s, associate’s, and professional certificate programs, SUNY Canton offers quality, hands-on programs in engineering technology, management and health. It houses the Center for Criminal Justice, Intelligence and Cybersecurity. Faculty members are renowned for their real-world work experience in addition to their outstanding academic credentials. As SUNY’s leader in online education, SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses and 23 online degree programs. The SUNY Canton Kangaroos 15 traditional sports teams compete at the NCAA Division III level in the North Atlantic Conference. SUNY Canton also offers college esports and cheerleading.