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Books That Matter: Introduction

An anti-racist social justice bookshelf that highlights specific books as a way to increase visibility and include everyone!

Student Testimonials

"I think it’s important to diversify our learning and be aware of social injustices all around the world."


"It shows that inclusivity can be done in a non-verbal way and including a bookshelf in a place that is seen by students daily, it may interest a lot more to read or look into the topics on display which overall increases awareness of those topics."

"If more students are exposed to multicultural education, cultural differences, and anti-racist literature, more people will be informed about the experiences of non-white people. This increased understanding of BIPOC communities can lead to a decrease in racist behaviors and beliefs and overall better treatment for people in historically oppressed communities."

Implicit Bias

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy defines implicit bias as a way in which "people can act on the basis of prejudice and stereotypes without intending to do so" (2015).

Their website includes information about implicit biases and the history behind them.

Harvard hosts Project Implicit, which is a resource for testing your implicit biases. 

Try this test of your implicit biases

Books That Matter

In Fall 2021, the University Library's Student Learning & Engagement Department worked to create an anti-racist social justice bookshelf to be put on the 2nd floor of the main library. In Spring 2022, this bookshelf was implemented!

This is a working bookshelf that students can browse in person at the library as well as check out any of the titles for outside use. Books on the shelf cover many different identities, histories, and genres ranging from autobiographies to comic books.

This bookshelf is meant to include many types of stories, histories, and identities. It is a positive reinforcement not only for the University Libraries but for the entire University of Arizona campus culture.

Pictures of the Shelf

Book Recommendation

Recommender: Jess Williamson (PIC Student with the UA Library)

Don't Call Us Dead by Danez Smith

Smith's poems are always incredibly deep and thoughtful. As a queer POC writer, they express their personal experiences with violence and racism in modern America. Using this sort of platform to call attention to these issues is incredibly noble and deserves attention. I recommend this book to anyone curious about understanding the world from a different perspective.

Book cover: Don't Call Us Dead