Library invites suggestions for new titles for its Reading Resilience Project

  • Closeup of book shelves. Top shelf has sign "The Reading Resilience Project." The shelf below has three standing books: The title of the book at center is "I Am Alfonso Jones" showing a graphic illustration of a young man crying, holding an ipad with the image of a black man giving the peace sign.
February 11, 2023

The Reading Resilience Project, now in its eighth year, is once again seeking recommendations from students and members of the Yale community to identify books by and about people of color to add to Bass Library’s growing collection.

In 2015, during a wave of student activism on campus, students approached librarians wanting to collaborate to make Yale more inclusive. The resulting Reading Resilience Project highlights books by or about people who are typically underrepresented in library collections.

Since the project’s inception, students, faculty, and staff have made more than 300 book recommendations. Any books not already in Yale Library’s collection are considered for purchase.

Among the most frequently recommended authors and titles are Toni Morrison and her books Song of Solomon and Beloved, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and her book Americanah, and James Baldwin, author of the novel Giovanni’s Room and the essay collection The Fire Next Time, to name a few. Also high on the list of frequent recommendations are authors Zadie Smith (White Teeth), Tommy Orange (There, There), Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me), and bell hooks (Teaching to Trangress).

Graphic novels have become increasingly popular each year, and patron recommendations have contributed to the library’s growing graphic novel collection. Visit the Reading Resilience Project page for a complete list of books, e-books, and graphic novels recommended through the project.

Members of the Yale community are invited to submit their choices for fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art objects, films, and other creative works by or about people of color. During the months of February and March, visit Bass Library’s central book display for a sampling of books recommended through the project. Bass Library will also then be soliciting recommendations on its dry-erase board. Online submissions can be made at any time.

— Deborah Cannarella

Image: Shelves in Bass Library. Photo by Kelly Blanchat