On Monday, January 21 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), Hennepin County libraries are closed.
Forget the New York Times bestselling author and the latest celebrity authors. The name adorning the most books on the shelves at Sumner Library is Gary Sudduth.
The former Minneapolis Library Board president and leader of the Minneapolis Urban League is memorialized by a collection of books for all ages. The books – fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels and audiobooks – narrate the stories of the African American experience in America, written by black authors. The more than 5,000 books fill a designated reading room at the north Minneapolis library and overflow into the shelves throughout the library.
This Saturday, April 7, the library is hosting a celebration of the Gary N. Sudduth African American History and Culture Collection and the man whose legacy it represents. Library staff collaborated with Sumner Library Community Advisory Group to make this event possible.
Widely respected as a civil rights leader and a champion of public libraries, Sudduth believed in the power of books and reading for all people, especially children. Though the Black History Collection began to come together at Sumner Library in 1970, it was renamed in Sudduth’s honor in 1998, after his death at age 44.
“The Sudduth African American collection is an important part of Sumner Library,” said youth services librarian Tiffany Casey. “The collection highlights the richness of the African American experience and gives African American youth a chance to see themselves reflected in literature and in their community library.”
Everyone is welcome to join us as we honor Sudduth and the books that make Sumner Library special. The event will include music, stories and activities for all ages, Saturday, April 7, 1-4 p.m.