“Our Stories Told by Us”: CLC and University Libraries Launch Book Collection

UNC University Libraries and the Carolina Latinx Center are collaborating on a new collection of AfroLatinx Authors & Stories books.

From poetry to non-fiction and everything in between, this collection features a range of AfroLatinx stories from a variety of authors and genres.

Marcela Torres-Cervantes, deputy director of the CLC, said the collection brings more inclusion and diversity to university libraries. This collaboration provides a long list of new Latinx narratives, focusing specifically on the experiences of AfroLatinx peoples, Torres-Cervantes said.

She said the project is extremely important for portraying AfroLatinx stories and narratives that can sometimes go unnoticed.

“It’s really important that our stories are told by us so that there can be that level of ownership and storytelling,” Torres-Cervantes said. “Often we only know the stories that have been told to us firsthand, whether with people of Latinx identity or with people who simply learn about them as allies.”

The books are available for students and faculty to access on a online system called OverDrive.

University Libraries have previously worked with CLC for a collection of audiobooks and eBooks on OverDrive to celebrate Latinx Heritage Month.

“We were thrilled to partner again with the Carolina Latinx Center to create this AfroLatinx list for Black History Month,” said Melissa Salvanish, acquisitions and serials coordinator at the House Undergraduate Library, in an email. “It incorporates titles from our existing OverDrive collection of ebooks and audiobooks, plus 15 additional newly purchased titles.”

Salvanish said OverDrive allows libraries to quickly add up-to-date and up-to-date digital books for members of the campus community. The libraries are open to requests for collaboration with different centers and organizations on campus, she said.

CLC Student Ambassador Senior Jacqueline Santillan said the center also wanted to find a way to celebrate Black History Month.

The collection is not only for people who identify as part of the AfroLatinx community, but also for people who want to learn more about AfroLatinx culture, she said.

Santillan said the compilation of literary works presents diverse experiences through different perspectives of people in and around the community. The collection includes titles like “An African American and Latinx History of the United States” by Paul Ortiz, “Color Me In” by Natasha Díaz and “The Poet X” by Elizabeth Acevedo.

“I think having this collection available to students provides more opportunities, not just for Latinx communities on campus, but for everyone to learn about stories from a variety of angles,” Santillan said. “And it shows what our libraries have to offer not just to the AfroLatinx community but to everyone on campus.”

Torres-Cervantes said he has read and listened to some of the books in the collection. In particular, she loves Acevedo’s work, saying he captures great experiences while conveying important emotion.

“She’s Dominican, and I always really appreciate her work because she does poetry as well as narrative writing…She’s really playful with her analogies, the Spanglish that she uses, and even with the art on the covers of his books,” Torres-Cervantes said. . “So to be able to see that and understand that (Dominican) perspective is nice.”

the Collection of AfroLatinx Authors and Stories is available for use in both audio and ebook forms by university libraries website.

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