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Mission . Goals . Facilities & Services . HISTORY

library The Martin Luther King Jr. Library has solidified its purpose as a full service resource devoted to the scholarly inquiry of African American Studies.

First conceived by students of the King Alliance (a forerunner to SAS-Student African American Society) in 1969, as an extension of their effort to create “positive contributions to Dr. King’s ideals” at Syracuse University, the MLK Library received its initial purchase of books towards building the collection in May of the following year. 

At the time, the library represented a venue by which investigation of the African Diaspora could be fully realized due to its very limited coverage in traditional library collections with the exception of those within the Black community.   From its humble beginnings as a reading room on Walnut Place in 1970 to an entrusted component of the Department of African American Studies (AAS), the library was moved to Sims Hall as both units sought to meet the demands of an increasing academic interest in cultural studies. 

In 1989, student concerns led to the creation of a 13 Point Document that included increased funding for AAS, creation of a formal library facility, and the appointment of a professional librarian.  In 1992, the collection moved from a fourth floor office space to its present location, room 231 of Sims Hall. 

Today, the MLK Library has realized the vision of its founders.  The reading room and computer cluster (which holds the campus distinction of being one of only two departmental units of its kind) form a visually stimulating atmosphere of Afrocentric elements. 

The Library serves as a bridge from introspection to dissemination of African American culture, a gateway poised to meet the needs of its users in the 21st century and beyond. 

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