Valparaiso University Library Land Grant to Diversify Book Collection

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VALPARAISO — The Christopher Center Library at the University of Valparaiso has obtained a grant to diversify its book collection.

Indiana-based Indiana Humanities, a statewide nonprofit that seeks to bring the humanities to the daily lives of Hoosiers, awarded the college library an Advancing Racial Equity Collections Development Grant of $1,000.

Assistant Professor of Library Science Rachael Muszkiewicz is leading efforts to make the library’s collection more diverse and inclusive.

“I never go into this stuff expecting to receive anything, so that made me very excited,” Muszkiewicz said. “It’s something we want to do a lot more in libraries, and it’s something our students are really excited about.”

The grant allows libraries to purchase from a list of 400 books, films and other materials on the topic of racial equality, which has grown in interest in recent years.

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Muszkiewicz estimates that about 60 to 65 books will be purchased and ready for students by the end of the fall semester. The Christopher Center Library plans to purchase adult non-fiction books published within the past three years.

“We want the books to be current and not fictional because that’s what our students use for research projects,” Muszkiewicz said.

The Christopher Center Library holds over 150,000 volumes and plans to continue adding the works of more traditionally underrepresented authors.

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