A fully-integrated part of NCSU Libraries, the African American Cultural Center Library and Media Room houses over 7,000 titles and is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. This peaceful haven is adjacent to the African American Cultural Center Art Gallery on the second floor of Witherspoon Student Center on Cates Avenue. Librarian Angela Jenkins provides a virtual tour of the facility.
On campus scavenger hunts, students of all ages arrive at the African American Cultural Center Library with paper or camera in hand to find out where the African American Cultural Center or the African American Cultural Center Library is located within Witherspoon Student Center. They take a picture in front of the bookshelves to confirm that they were here and then run out to the next point on their treasure hunt.
If they could stay a bit longer, they would know that indeed they have found a treasure right in front of their eyes! With quick glance from the corner of their eye, they can see over 7,000 books on the shelves representing historical periods starting within the United States era of Early African American Literature, Slave Narratives, Post Slavery, Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Movement and History in the Making. The collection continues with the Communities of the World that Represent the African Diaspora reflected across interdisciplinary studies.
They could learn that we have a special collections of Art Books, Children’s Books, and Reference Books and wonderful Audiovisual Collection housed in the Media Room section of the AACC Library. This treasure chest is waiting for you to grace it with your presence and open it to find history and scholarship, to discover ours and create yours.
If you are interested in Africana Studies and reaching back for history about African Americans, Africans and the African Diaspora, then this specialized collection is the place for you and part of the treasure is that the collection is constantly evolving.
This library is here on campus for the sole purpose of providing students access to learning more about our culture and giving insight into the great authors of our time. It is a privilege to have access to a room such as this one, to learn how African Americans are deeply rooted to the earth and how we are extraordinary, ordinary people, inextricably intertwined in North Carolina’s African American History and Culture. They would know that the first Black author to win a Pulitzer Prize, Gwendolyn Brooks, is also honored in the African American Cultural Center Library. They will discover that author and poet Margaret Taylor Burroughs is an artist and the African American Cultural Center has several of her books and paintings.
With the understanding that it’s not too late to go back and discover your past, NC State students, staff and faculty members have the key to a bounty of treasures. They can find the key by using NCSU Libraries’ online catalog for access to over 7,000 titles, request a book or DVD of choice or visit the African American Cultural Center Library and Media Room. The next time you are in the Witherspoon Student Center, make a special effort to visit the African American Cultural Center Library on the second floor and stay a while, tell a friend, bring a friend and take advantage of this wonderful part of the African American Cultural Center. It is a treasure trove of resources and you are the key. History and scholarship, discover ours and create yours!
Angela Jenkins is the librarian of the African American Cultural Center Library and Media Room.