A look into a storied past

Black History Month at the Library Learning Crossroads displays cases containing books and idols that show the importance culture and heritage in the African American community at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif. on Feb. 20, 2018. Photo by: Shae Hammond

A sense of community and empathy are created when revisiting the past of others. The Black History display in the library includes books authored by well known figures such as Issa Rae and David Pilgrim.

While students are encouraged to read any of the literature from the exhibition, an important part of showcasing these publications is the sense of feeling students get when they see the display.

Library Department Chair Paula Paggi said that people like to see themselves in a story and this display helps them to do that.

“I also do think it’s to open doors and awareness for other people to understand other points of views,” Paggi said. “Awareness goes both ways, I think that is a great way to encourage that.”

The library’s exhibitions are reflective of the Pierce College community as it highlights the diverse ethnic, cultural and even academic groups on campus.

Mario Macias, instruction and reference librarian, said the library wanted to make sure that everyone on campus felt that their cultural identity is appreciated and celebrated.

Macias said that their displays are showcasing cultural as well as educational information in hopes to enrich students’ academic and cultural journey for intellectual growth.  

Recognizing what makes one different and creating a space to celebrate that diversity is part of the reason the library has these displays. This helps students understand that throughout this campus they are represented.

With a goal of featuring local and regional information, Macias said short biographies from Pierce faculty were collected and used in the display.  

“We wanted to highlight them as being not only part of the Pierce community but also part of the African American community and how that resonates with the activism and diversity of the Pierce college community,” Macias said.

Macias said creating a space to celebrate diversity is part of the reason the library has these displays. This helps students understand that throughout this campus they are represented.

“Seeing the displays made me realize this campus is a lot more diverse than I thought,” said student Kyle Dizon. “Even if it was just a small fact, I learned something new I didn’t know before.”

In the past, the library has showcased diverse displays such as Hispanic Heritage Month and the Harry Potter series, and Macias said the library plans to continue this tradition every month.